Bettie Serveert | Oh, Mayhem! (Palomine)

cd betty serveertThe Dutch group manages to keep an American appeal over time and deserves more than a quick glance or overlook

 

 

“Popular in Europe” is a common phrase for many indie bands, but it means something completely different when you are actually from Europe. Mostly known for their covers of the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, and Bright Eyes, Bettie Serveert has been through many stages throughout their career. With mild popularity in the early ’90s, they got to tour with Dinosaur Jr. and be played in the background of My So-Called Life, but they never really got the major attention of other groups at the same time.

Unlike many of those groups, though, Bettie Serveert is far from over and is set to release Oh, Mayhem! in early 2013. Upon first listen to the record, I didn’t find much to be surprised by. The band stays true to form with typical indie rock with a ’90s spin, which is a good thing coming from them.

The second track, “Mayhem,” is a highlight for sure. It isn’t surprising or anything that you would write home about, but it is a solid track that could be on a playlist and never get too boring. It is somewhat refreshing to just hear a band play what they know and keep true to their roots in a time of electronica take over.

I think the main reason I enjoy this album is the noticeable lack of digital effects. The guitars are mostly clean with fuzz boxes being a mainstay, but they are otherwise clean. The vocals have little added to them—with exceptions, of course—but for the most part, there are no gimmicks to make it sound “better.” There is also the slight reminiscence of classic tracks almost like those from Jenny Lewis, but with much more of a punk attitude.

Overall, the record isn’t too unique, but it makes up for this with solid songwriting and ability. The Dutch group manages to keep an American appeal over time and deserves more than a quick glance or overlook, especially due to their history and sheer talent. B+ | Alex Hodschayan

RIYL: Jenny Lewis, Buffalo Tom, Bauer

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