Bettie Serveert have been around since 1986, coming up with the likes of Superchunk, Pearl Jam, and Belly, and forming the basis for bigger (but less talented) bands like Garbage. Their 2010 release, “Pharmacy of Love,” is a testament to why this band is better than all the other bands who sound like them. It’s the talent, stupid. Their songs are tight, and their musicianship is top notch. The drumming on “Love Lee,” for example, is relentlessly upbeat, while the chopping guitar and bassline come through in waves, making the heart race and the head bob and weave. And then, of course, there’s Carol van Dyk’s vocals. Van Dyk has always had solid range, but she’s not prone to acrobatics. That’s part of what made this band less “pop” than Shirley Manson’s soundalikes–van Dyke is steady and even, not selling the song on the chorus alone.
It’s amazing that the band is still on fire after all these years. The sound is a little dated, sure, because noone is making music like this any more. But if you can get your ’90s chick groove on, this album is a treasure.
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