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To set it up, here’s the 12Rods bio from Wikipedia…
12 Rods was formed by Ryan Olcott, Christopher McGuire, Matt Flynn, and Daniel Perlin at Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio, in May 1992. They self-released an album called Bliss in 1993 and the gay? EP in 1996, one year after moving to Minneapolis. 12 Rods signed with V2 in 1996 and re-released gay? while they recorded a new album. Split Personalities was released in 1998. Despite the departure of drummer Christopher McGuire, 12 Rods released its next album, the Todd Rundgren-produced Separation Anxieties. The album failed miserably, both critically and commercially, and 12 Rods were dropped by V2. They recorded and released one more album, 2002’s self-released Lost Time, then broke up in 2004.
So the feature for this week is that last record, Lost Time. All of this music business crap happened to these guys, and the music that happened after is AMAZING. The “we’re sick of the music business and we just want to play” overtones are tangible in every song, and that’s definitely one of the reasons this record is so great.
The songwriting, performances, and production is also killer too. It should be noted that at this point the band looked entirely different in personnel. Ryan’s brother Ev Olcott was now on keys/guitar/bvg/production. Christopher McGuire had been replaced by Dave King, and Bill Shaw was on bass.
I’m not going to get into all the various reason I love this album, but I definitely need to make mention of the drumming. Dave King is always rad, but I think this album shows a side of him that you don’t find anywhere else. The combination of pocket, creativity, and chops… all in a pop/rock record… it’s just amazing. Every song has a paradigm-shattering element to it, and it’s all awesome.
For instance, the first fill of the record is completely “wrong” and oh so right. “Twenty For Hours Ago” features a fill over the FIRST bar of every chorus, and it adds so much momentum. There’s a super cool disco thing on “Telephone Holiday” (0:51), then a hilarious break beat in the same track (2:34). Then check out the way King accents the vocal on “One Thing Does Not Belong” (1:23), “Accidents Waiting To Happen” (0:40), and “Terrible Hands” (1:43).
The stuff I just mentioned is all totally rad, but by far my favorite drum moments on this record are all in “Boy In The Woods.” The ghost notes, the drum ‘n bass stuff, the tones… and then the phrase at 1:18… oh my goodness. It kills me EVERY time. Listen, the records that make it in to the “Albums Every Drummer Should Know” list make it in there for a reason.
So go buy Lost Time by the 12Rods and thank me next time we hang out.