This one’s for the three other Bettie Serveert fans in Cleveland. The three other people who remember how wonderful those early Matador Records releases were, the people like me who still revisit Palomine and Lamprey on a regular basis, and anyone else who’d be thrilled to score an unopened copy of Lamprey on orange vinyl from eBay for a very reasonable price.
“Deny All,” the lead single from the Dutch rockers forthcoming full-length, is a straight-forward, alt-rocker, posessing neither the bittersweet emotion of those early releases nor the dynamic balance of quiet reflective moments paired with rambling, ramshackle guitars. That’s not a jab. It is what is is, as they say. Still, even if it is considerably linnear compared to other moments of Bettie Serveert’s career, it does have a lot going for it. There’s the blistering guitar work of Peter Visser, an underrated shredder from the alt-rock glory days if there ever was one, and the voice of Carol van Dyk is as sweet and as expressive as it was in ’93. With those two elements in tact, Bettie Serveert could do doo-wop, dance rock, or dueling banjos and they would still be compelling to these ears.