Genetic Engines

by Michael Edwards

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A man on the run, a society in collapse, a haunted library, a secretive politician, a forged pseudonymous autobiography, a widow in mourning. Genetic Engines' debut album takes you on a storytelling journey across and through the genres of folk, electronic, and rock music. Why don't you come along for the ride?


released January 7, 2011

All songs written, performed, and recorded by Michael Edwards. Trumpets on "Rotation Is A Man On The Run" by Jonathan Torrence. Flutes on "Feels Like Death Might Win" by Sharon Kent. Ukelele on "A Car Crash" by Kevin Cray. All other instruments performed by Michael Edwards. Additional lyrical contributions by Jimmy Green. Artwork by Brian Yuhnke.


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Michael Edwards Columbus, Ohio

Graphic designer, animator and podcaster. Co-founder of Sunrise Robot. Sometimes musician. Miss my dad.

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Track Name: Rotation is a Man on the Run
Fire wakes me licking my arms
casting monsters behind my form
I'm hiding out past the docks in the trees
praying my scent doesn't carry in the breeze
in the breeze, in the breeze...

I made it to the city
made a name for myself
call me Isaac Andrew Hamilton
call me John Alexander Smith
call me anything that you wish
that you wish, that you wish...

I've got an alibi
just gotta tell some lies

As long as I can forget what I know
I've no idea how far knowing goes
through the trails down the river to the sea
I'd give anything to stop being me
Even me, even me...
Track Name: Feels Like Death Might Win
No lights in the city tonight
the worst outage we've ever known
the power's out I don't see your eyes
and these locks have been compromised
they won't keep them out
and this is when I said:
"It feels like death might win."

Your sister died in the street last week
they clubbed her head and broke her bones
her husband fled but lost his feet
they tracked him down at the general store
and flung him straight through the glass
and this is when you said:
"It feels like death might win."

We fled the city to gather our strength
and count the guns and swords between us
to count the men for our revenge
believing God was on our side
to make our violence right
to make our enemies say:
"It feels like death might win."
Track Name: Seal the Deal
This phone dials 9-1-1
We must respond, we must respond
This phone dials 9-1-1
The operator's standing by

This hearse takes anyone
We must respond, we must respond
This hearse takes anyone
The customer is number one
The customer is always right

Seal the deal with a kiss in stereo
Battle the crackle and the hiss of the radio
Track Name: Genetic Engines
Who decided this?
A sentence with a fist
just to drive it in
when words were not enough
when words were not enough

He won't know what hit
'cause some kids can't take a punch
Will he grow up and live
as a juris doctor filled with secrets
and denial to projected forms of hatred

Who decided this?
A sandwich with a kiss
domestic grocery lists
and cabbage patch kids?
That's something that that we did, you know?

Swirling streams of code
We're sharing them, you know
to see which ones will grow
which way they'll choose to go
and who will be the hands and toes

Who decided this?
The mother or the son?
Or genetic engines moving us before we know it?
They're moving us before we know it
Yeah they're moving us before we know it
Track Name: The Solitary Reader
Reading the great debates of the intellects of history
I find myself asleep in Søren's solitary room
Where I dream of the library
Looking through books, magazines, and newspapers
Listening to the words of all the dead men that live
in pages of written words

"The task must be difficult
for challenge inspires the noble hearted"
But who can live that way?
The living don't get it
and the dead can't live it

My body's tired but I was hired
to put away the books and journals
They fly around without a sound
but I don't see a ghost anywhere

I cried in the library
I hid my face in my arms and told you all my troubles
The walls are paper thin here
and there's no access to one another
You can't get through

My body's tired so I was fired
for leaving out the books and journals
I hid inside to watch them fly around
I don't see a ghost anywhere
Track Name: A Car Crash
A fight
You teach me to hide
to hide what I know away from help
Like two on an isle
and though this is vile you'd rather stay
oh you'd rather stay!

But then you're driving home
a motion controlled by signs and lights
Not like your mind, not like your hands
which push aside
They take and push aside
They push aside

Not that you care
Not that I care enough to change
We've lived this long
We've sung this song
We know this place

Slip, slide, traumatize
Victimize and lie
My chance to apologize
To speak my mind
Oh how I miss you

You were mine! You were mine!
But you fell asleep at the wheel
Not in time, no brakes on your mind
You barreled straight into the house on 4th and high
and killed a college guy
Track Name: A Grief Obscured
Pains her to walk
Pains you to watch
You were out to eat
She'd die within the week

Come to terms with God this life
Come to terms while he takes your wife

And live like a phantom
Cuz it's love in the ruins
No audience laughing
Cuz it's love with such illusions:
"I'm not I.
An abstracted mind,
an object cursed to live its life."

If I write down the words "Surprised by Grief"
would it seem that way to you?
N. W. Clerk lost his H in July of 1960
It doesn't make any sense for a man to pretend
(that) he gets well in the end
So when we finally go
when we're in the ground
we'll have none of these concerns

So live like a phantom
Cuz it's love in the ruins
No audience laughing
Cuz it's love with such illusions:
"I'm not I.
An abstracted mind,
an object cursed to live its life."
Track Name: With No One Leading
I caught her dancing with no one leading
With only music in her head
Just like my daughter with awkward steps
Unacquainted were her feet from her legs

Now when I march through this place
I can scarcely read the names
Who should bother to walk through a world
where man forgets how to dance?

Now the end of the world comes
The end of all possible meaning
Either by the heat death of the universe
Or by despair, by violence, or by disease
Or just the simple end of my conscious being
What response fits modern men like me?

When I march through this place
I can scarcely read the signs
Who should bother to walk through a world
Where man forgets how to live?
Track Name: Save it for the Melons
Don't go walking out alone (it's cold dear)
cold as lead and sharpened steel (but you're safe here)
staring through this blackened eye (I squint through)
men muscled in shadow wish (to take you)

When the war first started
I looked in your eyes and saw
all my duties neglected
but no more

I'll barricade you in my arms
I'll mount our escape at sunrise from
humiliating, dehumanizing lands
they won't sap the strength from us

If they break in before the sun does
I'll fight if I have to but you have to run
If they get me they'll cut off my hands
they'll slit my throat
things you shouldn't see
but if they get you they'll take you as theirs
so take this gun and run

Darling focus your mind now
they've broken the door down
there's not too much time
Over, our days spent so sweetly
I love you completely
there's no more time
I'm sorry it took so long for me
to see that the enemy was me, was me
Track Name: It Stings
Steady and unwavering it advances
holding no regard for those in the way
Why must we all die?
You might think I'm just morbid
to cast such a strong shadow over our thoughts

A time to live, a time to die
It doesn't seem there's much living in life

I heard the one about enjoying it while you can
and finding that true love before you're buried in the land
I don't know what to think
You might think I'm just morbid
to cast such a strong shadow over our thoughts

A time to speak, a time to pray
an empty room to my dismay
Does he hear; what does he say?
and who are you anyway?

I'm an animal like you
Looking for a home for a minute or two
Will you love me till my heart stops?

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