Leaky Engine – John Birch Society Blues

We’ve written wrote about Ezekiel J. Rudick’s Young Elk several times, describing their shadowy folk-tinged indie rock as a combination of “the slow-burn bitterness of Bazan […] the sinister undercurrent of Water Liars and […] an almost Berningerian knack for imagery both mundane and melodramatic.” Centred on crises of faith and the contemporary American experience, Rudick’s writing is cynical and despondent—the aftermath of a very secular epiphany, where the promises that underpin society are revealed to be empty in one dreadful moment.

There is a new Young Elk record coming later this year, an album that promises to build on the bitter dejection of The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost, but in the meantime Rudick has been exploring different directions away from the band. As such, we’re pleased to introduce you to Leaky Engine, a brand new solo project from Rudick that maintains the dispirited worldview through a different musical lens. Described as an “experiment in slowness,” the project strips down the sound, leaving the vocals front and centre, allowing an unhurried immersion in the grim sadness and simmering anger of Rudick’s voice.

Today we’re sharing the project’s first single. As the title suggests, ‘John Birch Society Blues’ charts the distinct sorrow and anxiety that stems from an upbringing on the ideological fringe, where religious fundamentalism colours all thought and existence becomes and extended eschatological battle. The result of such beliefs is not so much conviction but the very opposite, a generalised paranoia where religious and political fears merge and the Rapture lies around every corner. A life governed by disaster and dread.

“bought me a gun when I was 12
with a banana clip that held
about 30 shells
i was so scared
of the government
thought i should be prepared
for the apocalypse”

You can find Leaky Engine on Bandcamp, and be sure to delve into the Young Elk releases if you haven’t already.