Thing and Nothing
I don't necessarily know how this fits into the U.S. Rocker format but this is DAMNED good. Yes, it is a musical. The music is dramatic and well-formed with lots of intense tempo changes. Impassioned voices, whispers, screams, trumpets and pianos screaing, synthesizers wheezing, a wailing violin. And a short sweet story with incredible witty sardonic dialogue and extremely poetic images...
-- U.S. Rocker
An elaborate science-horror dream told through a crazy quilt of music and lyrics. The format of performance art opera is perfectly suited for the storyline...The music is offbeat and warped, like circus music that the devil invents to give you a migraine. Sounds collide and crash at a frantic pace, keeping in tune with the see-saw vocals. Alternative stuff that theatre folks may most appreciate.
-- Factsheet Five
...The circular logic and self-reflecting story line in Thing and Nothing, like a mirror stretching into infinity, creates a reality that is not real; but contains more truth in its fragmented plot than any modern morality play. This is all underscored and emphasized by the music, an orchestral creation worthy of Ives or Zappa. Caffeine jittered piano and strings struggle with pondering horns and liquid bass, strict percussion fusing with loose melodies, and the harsh rasp of voices arguing and fighting and being confused reigns over all. Bursts of sound become motifs, identifying characters and locations. Melodies that at first seem to have no purpose suddenly come to magical frutition when juxtaposed with the orchestration, indicating mood and adding to charcter development. The shifting tempos, meters, and tonalities of the music establish the landscape of Cum Pooter land, the fields and fjords, the mountains and mochills that set the scene for this nightmare drama. With no money but his own, and no studio suport whatover, TASM Lab has sculpted a concept album that actually makes one sit down and think
...The mechinations of the story I will leave for you, but what is most impressive here are the performances. meticulously written and flawlessly acted, Thing and Nothing is nothing short of outstanding. The author, Jeffrey J. Till, shuld he address more mainstream topics, could very well create a show that would easily play on Broadway. So, if musical theater is an interest for you, then Thing and Nothing is something you will fully enjoy.
-- Carpe Noctem
...I was very intrigued to receive the Thing and Nothing from TASM Lab...The play is ruthless and perverse, with an ugly characterization of the human condition. It uses sex both as a vehicle into the listeners emotions, and a crutch for easy shock value. The vicious attack on the emotional state of the listener seems to suggest and embracing of some ot the theories of Antonin Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty. Musically the play is compex, yet repetitive. The stylings are grandiose with soaring orchestration that uses disharmonic harshness to further tweak the listeners emotionally. Overall the project is bold and fascinating, if not wholly effective.
--The Crass Menagerie
The cover of Thing and Nothing is a painting of chaotic and artistic proportions. The recording is a studio production of a play that echoes the sentiment the album cover...The accompanying music is a boullaibaise of piano, guitar, speed-driven rhythm, brass, and classical tempos, and the singing is pinpoint and strong.
-- PIECES Online
This is just plain fucking crazy. NOT what you would normally find on a CD...This is definately a bold experiment that is incrediably well done. Unique. I could go on and on
...The brainchild of Jeffrey J. Till, Thing and Nothing is perhaps best described as a cross between Gilbert and Sullivan, Cats and laurie Anderson. The music is electronically orchestrated, moving between classical and broadway themes. Featured vocalist are Brent Oberlin, Colin Bradford, Christopher Bryers, and Michelle Graf. All deliver fine perforances. A grand concept and a creative story make the mark on its own bizarre level though, if you look at it on any other level, it might seem a bit overwrought. The obscenity of the work comes only form the fact that it deals with sex...This isn't for everyone obviouly. Those who like modern, artistic musical theatre might enjoy Thing and Nothing. It's definitely different
Note: Nearly every review describes the plot of the story, which has been omitted here for space considerations
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