One of the best things about keeping track of lots of music over a long period of time is that you get to hear bands improve. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of revisiting a band you liked and suddenly finding out you love their new work. This was the case for me and STONEBIRDS‘ “Stay Clean”. I told you to listen to the band a little under three years ago but when I pressed play on this newest single/video, I could immediately tell that STONEBIRDS have taken a huge step up in their music. The moniker is still progressive stoner but everything feels tighter, more compact and direct. Scroll on down below to listen for yourselves!

So, what do we have here? Like I said last time I wrote about these guys, the groove section is really where the magic happens. Check out the segment around the two minutes and forty seconds mark; the bass tone goes ballistically fuzzy and the drums step up to support it. The result is a punishingly heavy sound led by the bass but with articulations and a good degree of alacrity to keep things interesting. However, the vocals are the main area where things have improved the most; both the harsh and the clean vocals work together in fantastic ways, reminding us of the underrated Asheran (new album when?) in the powerful and evocative melodies which they together create.

Another driving factor behind the power of “Stay Clean” is the track’s more ambitious structure. Several segments, among them heavier one I called out above, dance around each other, like the more melodic outro or the absolutely menacing sequence of riffs which dominates the center of the track. This makes sure that “Stay Clean” remains engaging until the very end; you never quite know where things are going next and while Stonebirds draw from the progressive stoner box of tropes for sure, they do so in interesting ways.

“Come Clean” comes to us (get it?) from the upcoming Collapse and Fail, out July 24th on the exalted Ripple Music. You can head on over to the band’s Bandcamp to pre-order it.