Deeper

Nuke The Soup

Meteor Records, 2018

http://www.nukethesoup.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/19/2018

If anyone out there remembers Cubic Feet, you'll be happy to hear that frontman Mark Davison is now recording as Nuke The Soup, armed with a large arsenal of players on both vocals and instruments and with the legendary Brendan Canty (Fugazi drummer) producing and engineering. These new tunes were birthed during surfing, when Davison would pen lyrics between waves.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Though these 11 songs all fall under the pop-rock umbrella, Davision brings in a wealth of influences and skill to the table, making it a varied, soulful, and fun listen. “Network” starts the album with a calm groove and upbeat instrumentation that's breezy and gentle. “Feel The Ocean” has a similar vibe, though a bit more subdued, and with backing female vocals that add to the reflective nature of the song before the quicker, organ-friendly, indie rock flavor of “If I'm Not In Love.”

Near the middle, the band offers the thicker sounds and Caribbean feel of “Island” and the more straightforward guitar rock of “Deeper,” which is about as loud and forceful as Nuke The Soup gets here.

The second half of the album shows a more ska oriented angle, especially on the friendly, upbeat heavy ska influence of “Bugs” and the moodier, introspective album highlight  “Feed The Fire.”

“Caught Inside” brings a country-esque, Americana feeling as does the relaxed sounds of “Better I Was.” “Oceans And Mountains” closes the album with a theme song for anyone with a love for the outdoors, with a lush, mature, playful conclusion.

Though Davison handles vocal and guitar duties here, he's got plenty of help on keys, saxophone, and castanets, among others, and with players in bands for David Bowie and Genesis, it's an extremely well delivered album. Add Davison's thoughtful wordplay about aging, mortality, and global awareness and you have a sophisticated, cultured look into the mind of an underappreciated songsmith.

Rating: B+

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