The Netherlands are known for many things, but not rock ‘n’ roll bands. Few Dutch bands have cracked the American market. There was Focus in the ‘60s, Golden Earring in the ‘70s and Urban Dance Squad earlier this decade. Now comes Bettie Serveert, a Dutch group with the greatest potential of all.
“Overnight, it seems, we’ve been traveling around the world,” says Berend Dubbe, drummer of the Amsterdam-based group.
Bettie Serveert - named after a tennis instruction book (translation: “Betty Serves”) - is a highly intelligent guitar-pop band fronted by singer Carol Van Dijk. They echo the Cranberries, 10,000 Maniacs, Juliana Hatfield and R.E.M., which is not a bad place to be these days.
Dubbe says the band’s influences range from Joni Mitchell to Max Roach, Rickie Lee Jones, Sebadoh, Captain Beefheart and the Beach Boys. At any rate, it’s a beguiling sound, as heard on the group’s first hit, “Tomboy,” and on a new album, “Lamprey,” due out Tuesday.
The band asserts a series of effervescent, chiming-guitar grooves on the new disc, topped by Van Dijk’s quirkily philosophical lyrics. “Boredom always lurks within strange places, but still I find a way to feed my mind,” she sings.