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

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dream Theater - Awake – The second album by this part-prog, part-metal outfit with vocalist Jamie LaBrie follows in the footsteps of its predecessor Images and Words without changing much. LaBrie tries to sound more gruff...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues