Bettie Serveert – Pharmacy of Love (CD)

It has been a number of years since we here at NeuFutur were last able to hear new music from Dutch (indie) rockers Bettie Serveert, and the initial strains of “Pharmacy of Love” shows that they have not let any rust accumulate. Approaching nearly twenty years in music, Bettie Serveert is an act that never really got the love in the United States that they should have. There are a number of reasons for that (cultural incompatibility, holding on to a nineties-based sound well into the current century), but “Pharmacy of Love” represents the band’s best possible chance at an “in”.

The album begins with “Deny All”, containing a much more raw and distilled sound than anything that was present on their 2004 work, “Attagirl”. “Deny All” has the energy and youthful exuberance that few bands this veteran will willingly take on, but the infectious feel of the track will ensure that listeners stick with “Pharmacy of Love”. “Semphore” is a track that deftly balances heavy emotional (and romantic) sentiment with this rough-hewn, guitar-heavy sound, while “The Pharmacy” acts truly as a microcosm of the distinct and disparate approaches that the band takes throughout this journey.

Where most acts would sink themselves with a nine-minute track, Bettie Serveert sends things spiraling in a completely different direction with their late-disc “Calling”. Shifting from a more violent and stone-age sound, there is a brilliant complexity and epic sound present that virtually approaches that of progressive rock or even earlier Pink Floyd albums. “What They Call Love”, “Pharmacy of Love”’s final track, represents each constituent element of the band being kicked into overdrive. The instrumentation is both anxious and refined, the emotional content front and center, while the band ends the disc with a definitive bang. Regardless of whether listeners are familiar with Bettie Serveert’s other releases, one should look into picking up “Pharmacy of Love”.

Top Tracks: Semphore, Souls Travel

Rating: 7.3/10

Bettie Serveert – Pharmacy of Love / 2010 Second Motion / 9 Tracks / http://www.bettieserveert.com / http://www.secondmotionrecords.com

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