The Dentists – Behind the Door I Keep the Universe

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 2)

I live for albums like this. Albums that no one really knows about by bands that no one has ever heard of, and which just happen to be full of great songs. For unknown reasons, this is not available on Spotify (yet) but there are several copies available on Discogs.

What I Think of This Album

The Dentists albums are difficult to find. There were only four studio albums, and I think just the last two were released in the U.S. The final album is shockingly bad, sounding nothing like the Dentists at all. I’ve heard compilations which assemble the songs that were on the first two albums, and at the time at least, I thought those songs were just okay. But I’ve never tracked down the proper studio debut and sophomore release. So when I say this is the best Dentists studio album, I don’t really know what I’m talking about. Regardless, this is a highly melodic, guitar-pop album with fantastic vocals.

“Space Man” is a killer tune with an impressive arrangement and nice stop-start break; the harmonies, the guitar, and the joyous delivery are all wonderful. The band can do ballads, too, as “Sorry Is Not Enough” proves, with a sympathetic vocal from Mick Murphy and another well-thought out construction. “In Orbit” marries together a hypnotic bass line, chiming guitars, a niggling lead line, some sweet “ba ba”s, and Murphy’s sharp voice.

There are a few meatier tracks with a slightly heavier sound, but it’s not like this is Motorhead or anything; it’s just that the excellent shape-shifting “Faces On Stone” and slashing “This Is Not My Flag” rock a little harder than their neighbors. There is a slight Smiths feel in the quiet rhythm guitar on “A Smile Like Oil On Water,” and “Gas” sneaks up on you after an unassuming start.

“Brittle Sin and Flowers” approaches anthemic status, with a very pretty melody and fine vocal. Murphy’s voice is pushed to the front of the spindly but energetic “Apple Beast,” with a breakbeat drum pattern in the verses. The drum style is recycled on “Water for a Man On Fire,” which is in any event a good song. The closing ballad “The Waiter” is lovely, with a phenomenal guitar solo.

The Best Thing About This Album

Probably “Space Man,” but there are several other contenders.

Release Date

January, 1994

The Cover Art

I believe drummer Rob Grigg is the cover model, upon whose pate various trinkets have been affixed. Silly, but not awful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑