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English Heretic – Radar Angelology: A Drone for Joe Kennedy

A rather peculiar four-track offering from English Heretic, a collective engaged in representing the esoteric landscapes of Britain, maintaining and nurturing its psychohistorical environment by issuing ‘Black Plaque’ awards in remembrance of forgotten, often, thought-provoking events. Coming complete with a 16-page booklet, this short disc is recorded in homage to Joe Kennedy, brother of JFK (and perhaps the original member of the Kennedy dynasty earmarked for US Presidency), who died during an ill-fated, near-suicidal air-raid mission in Suffolk during WWII.

While the title may point to melancholic soundscaping, the reality is that there is little in the way of actual droning. Heretic, instead, choose to honour Kennedy through eclectic means. The Electronic/Psychedelic opener ‘Theme from the Predictors’ is an aural assault on the senses, awkwardly mixed with spoken-word excerpts and clumsy beats. Strangely, it all binds together with the introduction of spiraling, acid-soaked guitar and as its approaches its cathartic climax one can not help but think of Space-Rock overlords Hawkwind. A ritualistic rendition of, what appears to be, ‘Adagio for Strings’ follows. Entitled ‘Invocation of Golohab’, this number sounds as if it was performed on The Adams Family parlour organ, a kooky brew stapled with poetry atop that is intent on summoning the ghosts of this solemn tale.

In stark contrast, ‘In This Cruelest Month’ is a step too far, with English Heretic losing the strange momentum developed previously with an amateurish composition that borders on the painful to listen to. Though, redemption is at hand with the part funeral march, part triumphant narrative ‘Exorcism of Joe Kennedy’. Undoubtedly, the music here is over-shadowed by the background story, but I suppose that is the intention. While each Black Plaque, from the outside, appears to be arbitrarily chosen, the research, thought and conviction it is all carried out upon suggests otherwise. English Heretic’s tribute to the ill-fated Joe Kennedy is somewhat convincing in its peculiarity.

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