Exposé Online banner

Eccentric Orbit — Creation of the Humanoids
(EOCD02, 2014, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-08-14

Creation of the Humanoids Cover art

Eccentric Orbit’s second album finds the band with a revised lineup and a solid bump upwards in sophistication. They’re still a keyboard-heavy entity focused on vintage instrument sounds, but some welcome additions, including – gulp! – guitar. The change in personnel is partly due to the tragic loss of original drummer Mark Cella, who completed about half of this album before succumbing to brain cancer. New drummer Rick Landwehr, a veteran of groups playing progressive rock and jazz, helped the band complete the album. The other change is the addition of Tom Benson on violin, guitar synth, and “MandoBot” (which I think is something like a guitar synthesizer triggered by a mandolin), who had worked with Eccentric Orbit on tracks for a Gentle Giant tribute album. Continuing members Bill (bass) and Madeleine (keyboards and wind synth) Noland remain as the core of the band, with Madeleine’s keyboards usually the dominant factor. Once again the keyboard sounds tend toward the vintage, with Hammond, Mellotron, and analog synthesizers (again, both real and emulated, but sounding pretty darn good). Speaking of sounding good, the quality of the recording is a step up from Attack of the Martians, really clear and with all the parts sounding crisp and rich. Bill Noland favors an overdriven sound on his bass, not generally full-on fuzz, but with a very aggressive tone that serves to add some welcome grit to the sound. Keyboard-dominated music can sometimes come off as too polite, with clean sounds that result from running instruments directly into the mixing board rather than through amplifiers, so the bass is especially welcome. Madeleine’s keyboards and wind synth are stellar, with inventive lines, excellent sound choices, and fluid technique. I’m at times reminded of classic PFM, Quella Vecchia Locanda, and Museo Rosenbach even more than any English bands that may come to mind (ELP, Greenslade, solo Wakeman, and so on). Creation of the Humanoids shows the continued growth and progression of an outstanding band, and it’s a lot of fun the listen to as well.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Eccentric Orbit

Latest news

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

At War with Self - Acts of God – Guitarist Glenn Snelwar's second release under the At War with Self moniker is a curious turn in direction. By pushing the project in a more personalized course the possibilities for subsequent live...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues