Nuke The Soup Present “Bugs” [Rock]

For the last 20 years, Baltimore-based musician Mark Davison has dedicated his career to standing out as one of the most prolific artists in the rock scene. Davison initially began his journey as one-half of the founding duo of Cubic Feet, and the group’s success allowed them to tour nationally. Having developed relationships with various producers, managers, and other musicians during his tenure, Davison eventually found himself moving on from Cubic Feet to spearhead his latest project, Nuke The Soup. Davison is joined by keyboardist Brian Simms, bassist Mike Mennell, drummer Chester Thompson, and guitarists Andy Thurston, Rennie Grant and Gerry Leonard. The group has put out two albums since their founding; Make Waves Not War in 2009, and Deeper in 2018. Davison has stated that the band is working on a new album to be released in 2025.

“Bugs” was originally released as a track on the band’s 2018 album Deeper. On its surface, “Bugs” is a fun, energetic dance song that makes listeners want to sway their heads in response. But like most of the other tracks on Deeper, the lyrics of “Bugs” reveal much darker and personal themes. The narrator of the song constantly refers to the struggle of overcoming addiction. Davison owes the inspiration for the track to William S. Burruoghs’ 1959 novel Naked Lunch (as well as David Cronenberg’s 1991 film adaption), which follows an exterminator who becomes addicted to getting high off of his pesticide; to which Davison adapts as “bug powder” in his song. One might akin the song to David Bowie’s “Low”, a connection worth noting with producer Kevin Killen and guitarist Gerry Leonard being former collaborators of Bowie.

The lyric video for “Bugs” comes to coincide with the 2024 emergence of cicadas throughout the southern and midwestern United States. The cicadas displayed prominently throughout the video serve to help the audience experience the uncomfortableness of addiction and withdrawal. The video itself shares the same stark contrast in tones that the song has; the lyrics are displayed in bright colors and enter with wacky transitions, all superimposed against close-up shots of the noisy insects.

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