Bettie Serveert 

Tuesday, April 1, at the Grog Shop.

Bettie Serveert
  • Bettie Serveert
Sure, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Just don't tell that to Bettie Serveert. A decade since their debut, Palomine, the members of Bettie Serveert must be taking compliments with a grimly forced smile. Seriously -- what a pisser! You release a record of focused, elegant indie pop, charged with the winsome yet biting vocals of your cutie-pie girl singer -- then, after flailing around for a while, take a look around to find that about a thousand bands have shoplifted your signature sound (a misdemeanor) and, worse yet, committed grand theft fan base to boot.

Fans with long memories might hope that Bettie Serveert's latest LP, Log 22, sets the record straight. And in a way, it does: chock-a-block with sucker-punches à la Palomine, the album's flirtatious pop songs pull you in, only to smack you upside the head with caustic lines like "You're gonna have to watch your soul." But Log 22, like all teases, is an act that gets old -- and it doesn't help that the record sounds like 1992. Bettie Serveert isn't pushing its songwriting anywhere listeners haven't been numerous times before. That the familiarity is mostly due to the charm and adaptability of the band's sound isn't Bettie Serveert's fault -- but it's still their problem. As it is, Bettie Serveert sounds like a pale imitation of itself.

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