The Power of Rocks


Buffet Lunch are a Scottish group who make it their mission to craft satisfyingly imperfect pop songs filled with imagery and humor. The group's elementary parts are Perry O'Bray (vocals/keys/guitar), Neil Robinson (bass), John Muir (lead guitar), and Luke Moran (drums), united by a shared love of music on the ABBA-to-Beefheart axis. These four ricochet between Glasgow and Edinburgh, creating music that bristles with DIY spirit and upbeat wonkiness. Their tracks are vigorous excursions, meandering into clattersome terrain as often as hiking up into the breezy, melodious foothills. Buffet Lunch spent early 2020 working on the follow-up to their two EPs on Permanent Slump. The fruits from such labor bore out as the band's debut album The Power of Rocks. The Power of Rocks was recorded in a Crofters cottage/studio on the banks of Upper Loch Fyne in Argyll, over four nights and five days at the beginning of March 2020. The album came together as a luminous mix of Buffet Lunch's live chestnuts, some sparky recent songs and some new material entirely written and recorded in situ. All tracks were recorded by Neil Robinson acting as the in-house engineer. After leaving the cottage, the reality of Covid-19 set in and finishing the album became a more remote task. Over the following months, an extended period of listening awarded the recordings a deeper realization, as they bounced between band members computers. Perry also started writing on his Casio keyboard and collaborated on a couple of songs with Jayne Dent (Me Lost Me), drawing on her ethereal singing voice. These gauzy, dreamlike tracks were then sent to other members of Buffet Lunch to add their respective parts, creating evocative new dimensions. The Power of Rocks rattles along like a short-story collection, exploring a variety of narratives. "Red Apple" opens the album with a dizzy swagger, guitars, and keyboard notes swirling in forays whilst its lyric tackles notions of social bravado. "Orange Peel" follows equally serpentine with its blattering tune and jagged, yet jolly melodic twists. The themes across the album are wide-ranging and personal, from irritation with out of touch politicians ("Pebbledash"), to love letters to seaside living ("Bladderwrack"), to even the frailty and confusion of old age ("Said Bernie", "It Helps to Know"). Title track "The Power of Rocks" is an ode to the power of nature sunk within a rolling wave of cheery jangle. "He Wore Two Hats" sports similarly bop-worthy riffs and addictive nods as it deals with its story of savvy man who'd bitten off more than he could chew. 180 gram opaque orange vinyl.