Buffet Lunch spawned from a solo project that frontman Perry O’Bray had created while living in London, before making the move up north to Edinburgh, Scotland. Joined by fellow members, Bassist Neil Robinson, Guitarist John Muir and Drummer Luke Moran, the quartet began crafting a jagged sound that’s the perfect blend of Northern Soul’s pop influence with The Fall’s focus on repetition. The group released a pair of EPs in 2019 (The Snail and Snap) on the London punk label, Permanent Slump, that distilled the quartet’s frantic compositions.
In March 2020, a couple of days before the world would head into a complete shutdown, the band isolated themselves in a cottage in the remote Scotland highlands. Robinson acted as in-house engineer for the sessions, bringing the collage of themes to life.
Upon leaving the studio, the group found themselves isolated from each other yet again due to the UK’s strict lockdown conditions, leaving time for their new ideas to gestate. Over the next few months, tracks were shared across laptops with O’Bray’s newfound love of keyboards and added vocals from Jayne Dent of the electronica project Me Lost Me, finding their way onto the album. The result is an album imbued with the liveliest recordings from Buffet Lunch to date.
On their new single “Said Bernie,” the band places their anxiety ridden instrumentals in the monologue of an old man; confused and fearful of death.
The sharpened dual guitars of O’Bray and Muir recreate the manic thoughts that spring across the narrator’s head with precise rhythmic tension. The off-kilter grooves devolve into a daydream as O’Bray’s lyrics center on the narrator’s loss of relevancy and a saxophone swoons in the background.
‘“Said Bernie”’ came from an article I read about a man named Bernie, who writes a letter to his local paper everyday and has done for forty years,” said O’Bray in a statement. “I really liked his character from the article but developed the idea and changed him a bit – imagining a man that has been steadily shrinking everyday through fear and not being heard. I guess it’s just about isolation and your voice losing its weight.”
Preorder the album here.