Lightning Made Us Who We Are

by Black Owls

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about

With Guided by Voices long gone, the Black Owls are filling a real void in our lives, creating pompous, over-the-top-rock without making pains to show how tongue-in-cheek they are.
If you’ve never spent any time with Guided by Voices, or the Who for that matter, the album will be just as enjoyable—the Black Owls have a knack for well-crafted, substantial rock songs that are catchy as hell. But it won’t make as much sense. If, on the other hand, you have spent time with those two groups, Lightning is for you.
Rick Allen, the other paper - Columbus, Ohio

Strange, beautiful things take place after the sun goes down, and the Black Owls revel in an all-nighter guitar sound that burns brightly in the dark. Lightning Made Us Who We Are, their 2008 debut album, is a masterful slice of booze-fueled super rock.
In Lightning Made Us Who We Are, you'll find traces of everything from the Rolling Stones to Roxy Music to Husker Du. It all adds up to their own infectious brand of rust-belt glam-rock, with "cautionary tales of excess" sardonically disguised as soaring guitar anthems.
The exuberant "Julius Morningstar" sets the tone for the rest of the record: pulsating drum stomps, righteous guitar riffs, and Butler's slicing tenor. The title track takes on lean, efficient tones reminiscent of the Cars and early Cheap Trick, and showcases the band's ironic proclivity to meld the majestic with the pitifully ordinary.
Kinetic energy courses through Lightning's world of lost mid-western souls and cosmic guitars. The band's unabashed desire to dish catchy, corn-fed power cords while giving songs titles like "We Travel on the Backs of Whales" and "My Guitar Might Kill You" reveals the Owls' sarcastic charm, but there's no denying Lightning's appeal as an exceptionally well-made rock record. - ADAM SCOPPA, 614 MAGAZINE

Insert disc, grab a MILLER HIGH LIFE and press play. Ohio natives THE BLACK OWLS have put together some of the best well crafted songs influenced by some of this country (and others) best known musicians that still make their mark today. This disc is loaded with hints of The Rolling Stones, The WHO, The Ramones and Georgia Satellites—to say the least—with a vibe of your favorite local BAR band playing their hearts out till all hours of the night. Plenty of danceable tracks, a few absolute anthems and creative music abilities that make this band stand apart from the past (and make the future seem more pleasant). Sometimes you have to go back a step and appreciate what was before ever understanding what will be. History has made it's mark, and it is time for the present to do the same — THE BLACK OWLS have a firm foothold in creating a new history for Rock n' Roll. This CD is a complete celebration of music at it's finest and should not be ignored.
- Dave Fishwick the Neus Subject

Judging from the neo-psychedelic sounds found on its debut LP, "Lightning Made Us Who We Are," Granville, Ohio-based Black Owls is an anomaly in Amish country. Rather than dabbling in something rootsy, Ed Shuttleworth (guitars, vocals), Mike Brewer (guitars, vocals), David Butler (vocals, drums) and Dan Cochran (bass, vocals) push a garage-rock agenda that also draws from the British Invasion, new wave, glam and '70's post-punk.
And despite the varied influences, this crew has fashioned its favorite styles into a focused and infectious sound.
The new album, released on the group's own Moholy Pop Records, is sure to get listeners moving. Black Owls recorded at Central City Recording in Columbus with Jon Chinn, who gave "Mr. Tornado," "Julias Morningstar" and other killer cuts a muscular, timeless qualilty that serves the material well. Clever arrangements, outstanding twin guitar play and a keen sense of dynamics heighten the listening experience.
-Don Thrasher - Active Dayton, Dayton Daily News

credits

released September 1, 2008

David Butler - Vocals, Drums
Ed Shuttleworth - Guitars, Vocals, Bass
Mike Brewer - Guitars, Vocals, Bass

Produced by Black Owls
Engineered by Jon Chinn & Black Owls
Recorded at Central City Recording, Columbus Ohio
Addl tracks recorded at Cordwoven Nest Studio
Mastered by Jon Chinn

all lyrics & music by Black Owls
© black owls, amish girl music, LLC

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Black Owls Granville, Ohio

Mennonite glam rock showcasing a certain proclivity to meld the majestic with the pitifully ordinary.

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Track Name: Welcome to the Owl
see if you can figure it out. We don't remember what Dave was saying. Dave doesn't remember what Dave was saying.
Track Name: Julias Morningstar
J J J Julias Morningstar
how fine we think you are
t t t taking our breath away
fff follow you everyday

• If we could unwrap the white light
then we'd see the truth
that you hold the golden key
to unlock our youth

If you weren't so sobering
and we weren't so stoned
we'd cast off the trappings
& give you all we've ever owned.

J J J Julias Morninstar
keep heavens gate ajar
a a and if your flags unfurled
we'll see your satin world

J J J Julias Morningstar
can I ride in your car?
we'll teach the world to dream
c c cover it in our cream

J J J Julias Morningstar
J J J Julias Morningstar
J J J Julias Morningstar
Track Name: Mrs. Someday
hey miss'us someday
you got nerve to string along
you got nerve to sing-a-long
to this love song

hey miss'us someday
you know I will not wait that long
you know I will not wait this long
for just a maybe

blame it on the moonlight
blame it on the firelight
come on baby this could be our night
I love this song I love the way it gets down
come on baby don't you sit down now
now, now, now

hey miss'us someday
you know this might be our last chance
this might be our last dance
so come on baby

hey miss'us someday
you know I will not wait that long
you know I will not wait this long
for just a maybe
.....come on baby

blame it on the moonlight
blame it on the firelight
come on baby
this could be our night
I love this song
I love the way it gets down
come on baby don't you sit down

hey miss'us someday
you got nerve to string along
you got nerve to sing-a-long
to this love song
Track Name: Lightning Made Us Who We Are
I know you've seen us - you've had t've seen us
walking spanish - talking smack
We're on your radar - dark storms in motion
coming swiftly on jet streams from afar

So please forgive us - our trespasses
It's just nature taking course
It's not on purpose - just being natural
see, lightning made us who we are

You walk on carpets - We walk on splinters
You sense us coming - We smell the fear
The truth has found you - it always finds you
but now you're passed out on the floor.

don't fear the lightning - it's just our maker
it's just our maker making noise
to call us home now - to make us listen
and to eclipse your shining star
Track Name: The Only Sin is Regret
He's all covered in panther sweat
feeling like death but he's not dead yet
He bites his lip while he's placing the bet
His only sin is regret.

He played some social disease roulette.
Got laid with someone that he just met.
Drank till he's blind, see if he'd forget.
now the devil has smoked his last cigarette.

Aggression flies when you get upset.
Blood pressures up and your soaking wet.
Now what you give is what you will get.
for such a bloody & painful debt.

her choice to roll with the gypsy set
seemed nothing more than a minor threat
now she's a chalk line silhouette
washing away down on Lafayette.
Track Name: Altered Statesmen
I have seen them

they shoot vacuum cleaners by the side of the road
I've seen the graveyards and the spent loads
behind the tower blocks and the playground of bricks
where jobs are dirty down on working class tricks

with their mud-rusty buckshot spatter
and the black eyes on their dates
where back seats are for jumper cables & jumping ladies
and the front seats for altered states - I have seen them

they roll on chrome 22's in a shit brown chevelle
smells like detroit city - but I'm sure that it's hell
they're altered statesmen - they're purveyors of vice
& the hoods have got their backs - so think twice & play nice.

I have seen them.
And I know what they do - and they'll do it to you.
Track Name: Mr. Tornado
Broken homes stare at cash advances
rusted fenders and plastic toys
storage lockers are for rent in the backyard
they're protected by the dirtiest girls and the most savage of boys

and the trailer witches in their shit brown neons
share lotto dreams on a cigarette break
the above ground pools - they of reek fallow water
when the sirens blow baby - it's already too late

We're waiting on something better
Our numbers to come up, for our lucky break
We're waiting for mister tornado
We've nothing left good but plenty to take

the funnel will blow off our misery
and it'll sweep clean our terrible lives
it'll sand blast our horrible children
and steal our detestable wives.

and on that day it'll be lucky and it'll be funny
and on that day we will clean up the slate
and on that day there will be no good warning
when the sirens blow baby - it's already too late
Track Name: We Travel on the Backs of Whales
We travel on the backs of whales
'cause they're big enough to hold us
and they like to breath the same air
and they seldom get upset.

The devil never gets in our way
cause he, don't like to mess with water
and the whales they don't care about him
he's no fisherman out for the slaughter

Visionary pilots of mammals that love us
we wear tall boots to keep us warm
mind the blowholes and keep your eyes out
I think I sense a coming storm

Our whales they can't go to shore
'cause they'd wash up on the beaches
so the dolphins they are our dinghies
they are gentle and they like our music

God can't catch us now
cause we're riding our whales to Boston
and we'll need to dry our clothes out
after travelin' on the backs of whales.
Track Name: They Must Be Dead
I found something you will like
Listen to this son
Heard it just the other night
Listen to this song
I can't get it out of my head
Listen to this song
So damn good they must be dead
Listen to this song

It'll captivate my life for a week or two
Now I understand their life, and you will too
Listen to this song Listen to this song

Push the replay I don't mind
Listen to this song
I could stand a million times
Listen to this song
On the bus or in my car
Listen to this song
No distant point will seem too far
Listen to this song

I'll remember to this day - being so blown away
It defines you and me so perfectly

I'll remember to this day - being so blown away
It defines you and me so perfectly
Track Name: My Guitar Might Kill You
My guitar might kill you - it has a mind of it's own
many eardrums broken - many speakers blown

my guitar might kill you - it maims all you see
though my guitar is evil - It means the world to me
Weapons are like children - keep them supervised
guitars are like women - cunning and comprised

strings of slings and arrows - electric voices rise
all just fun and games - until somebody dies.

My guitar might kill you - it has a mind of it's own
many eardrums broken - many speakers blown

it's case is like a coffin - lined in velvet trim
my guitar might kill you - though the chance is slim
'cause my guitar is old - it cannot raise the dead
but it can kill the voices - living in your head.

strings of slings and arrows - electric voices rise
all just fun and games - until somebody dies. DON'T DIE!
Track Name: Stay Down Now (She Said)
Fishing for compliments - compliments that compromise
arrogance a-plenty - all these clouds in my eyes
rules of engagement - plays from a playbook
you wrote me to keep me guessing
stay down where you belong - she told me

Stay down now she said - that's what she said to me
That's right that's right that's right

You come around and you talk about - talkin' bout it
You said you knew but you didn't know anything
You want to know me - but you don't want to know me
You wanna keep me down but you cannot do it honey

You stretch your neck out like a swan on Sunday
You are like a bouquet of roses – or razor blades
You come around and you talkin' trash – throwin' cash
you come around with your photographs photographs

Stay down now she said - that's what she said to me
That's right that's right that's right
Track Name: Forecasting Monsters
Forecaster please - Is that your needle on me?
Forecast the need - if you're deceiving me
Impossible to hold in my senses
monsters kept in cardboard fences

Why did you lie? - I love you though it's wrong
Hate it when you cry - it makes the night so long

There's a reason why the pain creeps in
to give us feeling - deep revealing

Forecaster please - why do you lie to me?
Down on my knees - reveal the death of glory

Fortune teller forecasting monsters
Fortune teller forecasting nightmares
Fortune teller forecast confusion

Find it hard - to hold on to myself
Find it hard - to let me go

Forecaster please - Is that your needle on me?
Forecast the need - if you're deceiving me

There's a reason why the pain creeps in
to give us feeling - deep revealing

Forecaster please - Reveal the monster in me
Track Name: Astronauts of Nothing
We were sent here on a mission to explore
the darkest corners of our own feeble minds
we were given strict orders to follow through
and to report back our discoveries and finds

spaceship leaves in one second so climb aboard
we'll light it up and fly and not leave the ground
past all the atmosphere of not doing anything
where space is empty and we can't hear a sound

we are astronauts of nothing
our second sight is just a curse
humping about our useless universe
just sad time travel in reverse
I guess we could just turn around now
the journey couldn't get much worse
'cause we're just stupid astronauts of nothing
dead ends for paragons perverse

mission control on coffee table calls out
the tower looms and water landings' secured
radar is showing clear weather and reruns
another hapless evenings boredom is assured

and through the porthole signs of life in the distance
I swear it's calling out our names as it comes
moving so swiftly that I lose my connection
the bright stars fade out as the empty capsule hums
Track Name: Electrified
The show is on – so start your amplifiers
The sound is RISING & it will take you higher.
A power chord - might be a wave goodbye
You're soaking wet & much too young to die.

So flip the switch. It's time to get ELECTRIFIED
OH OH OH OH OH OH OH
We're your conductor. It's time to get ELECTRIFIED
Just plug us in. It's time to get ELECTRIFIED
OH OH OH OH OH OH OH
We are not grounded. It's time to get ELECTRIFIED

The live wire is dancing in the city street
You're hopped up & kicking it with bare feet
In your headphones - the singer tells it true
rock and roll would surely be the death of you.

You want the passion but you don't wanna play
you're bored with each new day at least that's what you say
Take the radio and jump into the shower
instant passion - 50 thousand watts of power!