It’s been 12 years since the initial release of what would be the very last album by the late Minneapolis-based 12 Rods.
Aptly titled, Lost Time, this last epic perfectly defines and captures how great this band was and how truly ahead of their time its members were. Not only that but for its city, a city fueled on such great music, both 12 Rods and this record have gone down as one of Minneapolis' finest.
When musicians that I know gather, sit and talk about the greats, Ryan Olcott always comes up. It’s very hard to try and calculate how deep Olcott's genius goes, when at the time, it felt as if the music 12 Rods was making was in fact from the future. There is the ‘Pop’ music that is defined by paid-toplay radio, and the corporate avenues of selling music as a product instead of a natural commodity. But then there is the ‘Pop’ music that seems handed down, majestically, true, whole and unifying. There's little music and even fewer complete albums that live up to such 'Pop' majesty. Lost Time is one.
At the time of its release, 12 Rods was in its final form, which included Ryan Olcott and his brilliant brother/engineer/producer Ev Olcott, sought after bassist Bill Shaw, and one of the best living drummers in the world today, Dave King. Lost Time was 12 Rods fifth studio album but their first after being dropped from the deathly heights of mainstream music’s claws.
The band was signed by V2 records in the late '90s and were poised to be the next big 'Rock' band. And so when you think back to 2002, the year Lost Time was released, or even two years prior when 12 Rods released its fourth studio album, the Todd Rungren-produced, V2- botched Separation Anxieties, you must consider the landscape of 'Rock' music. Like, the popular bands that were on MTV. Lit was one of those hugely popular rock bands that wrote catchy songs about putting hearts in zip-lock bags and had a logo identical to Miller Lite with just the "e" taken off. Though, regardless of aesthetic choices, this goes to show the disparity between what 12 Rods actually was and what the industry wanted them to be. It's not that they openly defied their calling. No, it's just that the music was simply too advanced to be contained in the industries 'Rock 'n Roll' zip-lock.
Lost Time is one of my most listened to albums of all time. It's one of the only records I know of that is so full of hooks, yet never feels recycled or fake; it's just so fucking enjoyable from stem to stern. And now with its first ever vinyl pressing, I hope that this album can be as much a companion to you as it has for me. Solo listen, party listen, how can it be both? It just is.
With this reissue, it means that Lost Time won’t be lost at all - that great things always make their way through, even if it takes a decade.
- Justin Vernon