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Year in Review

It was a busy year for the band!  In 2017 we played shows, wrote songs, and put out our second album -Machines and Monsters!

Machines and Monsters cover

Machines and Mosters cover art

We booked a REAL studio with a REAL sound engineer! It took a lot of time and effort and we’re pretty proud of the results.  If you don’t have  your own copy already, go check it out here!

We also started playing with a new robot drummer this year -Slim!

Our first drum robot, Junkbot, had only two sticks, but Slim has two sticks on the end of each arm plus a bass drum beater for a total of five..  He is controlled remotely via an Android app, rather than with manual switches.  

Time stops for no one (at least so far…) and we’re looking forward to new shows, new music, and new faces in 2018!  Be sure to like our facebook page to keep up to date with the latest info!

Let’s Go!

We’ve got so much going on these days it’s hard to know where to begin!
First of all, our show schedule for the season has shaped up very nicely for the summer and fall.  We’re looking forward to playing the Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita and the Missouri Celtic Festival for the first time and we’re especially excited to be returning to Steampunk November in Dallas!
Check out our schedule!
And if you missed our livestream in April, you can listen here for a bunch of new songs we’ll playing in the future.

Secondly, (speaking of new songs) we’re going to start recording again soon!!  It’s been a while since the first album, and lots has changed since then. We have new members, new instruments, new sounds, new gear, and new ideas!  But don’t worry, we still have the same Steampunk flavor and folk/classical/whatever-we-are style as always.   We can’t wait to get this rolling so we can share the audio goodness with all of you!

And last, but not least, we have a new drummer under construction!  Yes- you read that right. If you’re new to External Combustion Orchestra, you may not have heard that our drummer is a robot.  (He’s not very creative, but SUPER consistent!) Our resident evil genius, Hedera Helix, is building a bigger, better robotic drummer for the band to take the place of the first edition known as Junkbot.  You can read more about the creation of Junkbot here, and be sure to keep an eye out for updates on the new guy! (We’re tentatively calling him “Slim”)

A robot made of a skeleton top with a bass drum bottom

New robot drummer under construction

Steampunk Show Season!

New Shows!

We’re absolutely delighted about the fall schedule we’ve lined up this year!  There is a plethora of opportunities to see us play and recruit new minions including TWO Steampunk festivals!  Labor day weekend is Big River in Hannibal, MO, and in November we’ll be playing Steampunk November in Dallas, TX.  In addition to that, there are two shows lined up for October –  a steampunk art show in Topeka, KS on Oct 22 and back home in Kansas City on Oct 29 we’ll be celebrating Monkey Wrench Clothing reopening in their new location!  Not only that, but we’re also scheming about having an informal jam session at Kansas City Renaissance Festival on their steampunk weekend Sept 24-25.

See our official schedule page for all the details!

New Songs!

We’ve also got new songs and new band members we’re eager to introduce to you all!  Come hear about the wonders of having a fine moustache,  find out where to get everything you need to be an evil genius, and learn the dangers of meddling with Time!  You can get a preview of some of these new songs on YouTube!

Come out for some grand entertainment this fall!

New Members Debut!

At our last shows we had the privilege of debuting two new band members!  At the costume convention Figments and Filaments here in KC and we were very pleased to debut our new violinist, Stowaway Allie!  A few days after our show with the pirates she came up on deck of our airship and said, “Oops, wrong ship!”  We decided to keep her.  Her playing really fills in our sound and makes us even more orchestra-y!

Stowaway Allie - violin

Our other new member debuted at Bits and Bobs in Buhler, KS.  It’s our new robotic drummer, Junkbot!  He’s a young robot, and still learning, so he’s only playing a few songs with us right now, but we expect great things from him in the future!  He’s exceptionally good at keeping a steady consistent rhythm, but sometimes he doesn’t know when to stop.

Junkbot the drum robot

He’s the first of Hedera Helix’s robot army which will be helping us take over the world eventually.  Who knew doom was so adorable?

Schemes and Songs

drum robot - "junkbot"

drum robot version 1

Winter is the time for scheming! If we seem a bit quiet right now, it’s only because we’re plotting our next stages to take over and new songs to take them over with. Where would you like to see us play this year?

We also have some great new music in the works for you featuring stories of airships, trains, a mad scientist’s supply store, betrayal, time travel and robots! All, of course, with our unique musical style to back them up.

Speaking of robots – we are currently training a new band member to play drums. Junkbot the drum robot should be joining us on the occasional song this year! He’s very eager and learns fast – we have high hopes for him!
Be sure to like our facebook page to get the most up to date info!

Debut CD Available Now!


It’s Here!

It’s been a long road with planning, recording, editing, mixing, more editing, more mixing, more planning and finally sending everything to the printers, but it’s finally here and available for you!  We are proud to present our debut album, Stoke the Boilers!

Purchase a CD or download from your favorite online retailer:

Stoke the Boilers on CDBaby

Stoke the Boilers on Amazon

Stoke the Boilers on iTunes

Or pick one up at our next show!

Listen to the album online:

Listen on YouTube

Listen on Spotify

Also check out our Listen page for a playlist, videos, and other songs coming soon!

We’re ‘Stoked’ to be able to offer you this exciting part of our Grand Experiment!  A HUGE thank you goes out to all our Kickstarter backers without whom this would have been considerably less awesome.  By now many of you should already be enjoying your new music, and we will be shipping the rest very shortly.

Next up, we’re excited to start working on new music!  We have some fantastic music in the works, so keep an eye out for where the Giant Mechanical Crabs will make their next stop!

Scuffle in Steamwork Springs

Our own Hedera Helix is always learning new things in her quest to take over the wor- …. I mean, …better herself through continuing education.  And to this end has been learning programming.  (It will be important for controlling the robots.)   Therefore, as a fun beginner project, she’s been making a text-based game you can play in your browser which is based in our imaginary Steampunk world!  How many bands can say they have a video game, huh? 🙂

Follow the brave Sheriff of Steamwork Springs as he visits people and places in town to prepare to take down the evil Professor Grinder of Grinder Gulch!  You can visit the Boilerplate Saloon, meet Dr Igor, and get yourself equipped with an Arm Cannon before riding into the Gulch for battle.

It’s an ongoing project, so we’ll let you know when there are updates.

See you in Steamwork Springs!


Recording in Progress…

So you may have heard….We’re working on a CD!  It’s a lot of work laying down all the tracks for the entire orchestra, but we think they’ll be ready for October.

What’s in October, you ask?

Why, that’s when we’ll be opening for the Musical Blades, Kansas City’s premiere pirate band! Mark your calendars – you won’t want to miss this event!

More updates to come!  Maybe even sneak previews!



And More Recording!

A Little Help from Our Friends

The members of ECO know a lot of cool people and we want you to have the opportunity to get to know them too!  Here are just a few of the fantastic people and groups we hang with:

marshalWriterImage    Marshall Edwards  – Writer

Marshall wrote several of the songs we play including Trailerpark Vampire, Hard Liquor and You, and Time to Sail Away. Continue reading