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We review the latest single from Birdman Cult – Ferryman

Murder of musicians, Birdman Cult return with their “doom-laden” latest single ‘Ferryman’.

Hailing from Bristol and Newcastle, the origins of how the group got their name is about as mysterious as you’d expect. From ancient Easter Island religious sects to triumphant champions of ritualistic competitions – either way, this is a cult you might be interested in signing up for. Feathers preferred, but not essential.

Mixing psychedelic and post-punk sounds with lashings of rock and roll – ‘Ferryman’ is an assault on the senses. The full version – running at over five-minutes – has you immersed completely. You hear those thundering drums, feel that scuzzy fuzz of the bass and heady weight of those driving guitars… and it’s almost like you can smell the fire and brimstone in the air.

Described by the band as “an existential reflection brought on by living through a global pandemic and pending WW3” – it seems the end is near. But what happens when death inevitably comes for us? Aggressive lyricism ponders this human experience – of mortality, life and death, hindsight, pride and shame. “What regrets would you have on your epitaph? / Don’t forget two pennies for the ferryman”

If you’re wondering just who this eponymous character is – Charon was known as the aged and dirty ferryman of Hades. A psychopomp who guided souls by boat in the afterlife. While he was not there to judge the dead, he still expected his payment – or else find yourself wandering the shores for a century or more.

This element of mythology paired with the hypnotic chanting in the refrain (complete with layered backing vocals) feels unsettlingly cult-like. A great contrast to the quick-fire lead vocal delivery throughout the rest of the track.

Ferryman’ is a woozy, otherworldly, cacophony of a track sure bewitch you into playing it on repeat.