It’s been a few weeks since I heard a new stoner-rock album. That’s weird; typically, a few land in my in-box every week — almost always from Europe for some reason. The latter is the case once again with this week’s sole arrival Collapse and Fail, the third album from France’s Stonebirds. Despite the see-what-they-did-there giveaway of their band name, however, they aim a little higher and cast their net a little wider than your typical crew of QOTSA-worshipping ersatz desert-rat. The six epic tracks on Stonebirds’ 40-minute album refuse confine themselves to the smoking lounge; they stretch their legs and menacingly shift about, incorporating everything from doom-laded brimstone vocals and slogging beats to noisy outbursts and sludgy Sabbthy grooves. Sure, it comes off a bit indecisive at times. But for the most part, these songs succeed in hanging together, no matter what their album title proclaims.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from central Britanny, Stonebirds deliver crushing and emotionally charged sludge metal, with their first two LPs forging a unique blend of atmospheric and organic heaviness, strong melodies and harrowing clear vocals. New album Collapse and Fail heralds the return of a band that have been called “one of the Europe’s more intriguing stoner/doom performers today.”