Description: Congregation Against Styrocultural Brain Damage is an amalgamation of musical styles presenting socio-political observations and includes elements of rock-opera, soul, jazz, avant-garde, and spoken word. While Congregation's name does provide a mouthful it is matched by a musical earful. The CD's cerebral assault is thematically broken into four acts. The myriad of genres on this CD tells a musical story beginning with Act One's, 'Convocation for the Disgruntled,' which is a calling of folks embroiled in frustration. The curtain rises on Act Two, 'Bile from the Belly of a Jackal,' and presents a portrait of power villains in a decayed society. No sooner is Act Two completed than Ron delves into Act Three's questions of spirituality and love, 'The Unanswered Question.' The last act, 'Styrocultural Antidote,' draws on Ron's vision of a utopic musical environment where music becomes unboxed and diversity and eclecticism is valued. Partial Bio: Ronnie Neuhauser [ guitarist and composer ] ...Groove rocker with a social conscience...,' is how North East Performer Magazine described Ronnie Neuhauser, whose guitar playing has been described as, 'deadly.' He formerly headed up the rock/funk outfit, Grooveyard, which received recognition in the New Haven Advocate's 1996 Grand Band Slam/Sounds of New Haven. Ron's ability to blend several musical styles into his own is a major part of his exploration of the universal language. His song, 'Dr. Sus,' took first place in the 1999 Songwriter's Association of Washington's, mid-atlantic song contest and 'Soul Kiss,' was a featured song on mp3.com. Ronnie has moved to more experimental ground with his 1999 concept CD, 'Congregation Against Styrocultural Brain Damage,' which was a recipient of a Preston Foundation grant. Ronnie has numerous material soon to be released. Two new instrumental albums and an experimental rock opera called 'Gangr'ear'. Some of his new material will include musical theory Ronnie has been developing for some 3 years now. Below are a few reviews of the Congregation CD. Also, the CD comes with a great foldout design with great art work and a 12 page booklet that reads like a play! 2000 House of Shred©...Ronnie Neuhauser's Congregation Against Styrocultural Brain Damage is a concept album/rock opera that hails from the mind of composer/guitar virtuoso Ron Neuhauser. This disc is brilliant in every sense of the word. With C.A.S.B.D., Neuhauser manages to blend the best aspects of Rock, Funk, and Avant Garde with bits of Jazz and latin-flavored percussions to create quite the masterpiece. Oh yeah, and there's plenty of guitar as Neuhauser's leads resemble a blend of Allan Holdsworth, Frank Zappa, Gary Moore and Carlos Santana. Yes, he is that damn good! That being said, Ronnie has a very innovative guitar playing style and a very unique guitar sound. Neuhauser also wrote and produced the entire album. This album is very theatrical; from the opening song 'Congregation' and throughout, C.A.S.B.D. plays like a realistic, yet satirical portrayal of the watered-down world we live in. Ron is a true artist, and C.A.S.B.D. is his lament of a lost society. Joining Ron in the creation of C.A.S.B.D. are a slew of artists and musicians that include four different lead vocalists, a horn section, spoken word, and straight acting - a testament to the versatility of this project. There's plenty of humor in C.A.S.B.D. as well - check out the reality-based 'Lust in Oval Space' and 'Commander N' Thief.' But Neuhauser's brilliance takes over by the fourth act, which is an all-instrumental guitar-driven shredfest, pure bliss for fans of great guitar playing. 'New Nomadic Man Suite (first movement)' is worth the price of the disc alone. It's quite an experience to sit, listen and absorb Ronnie Neuhauser's Congregation Against Styrocultural Brain Damage in it's entirety, and I recommend it to anybody who's reading this. Do yourselves a favor, head on over to Ronnie Neuhauser's website (an experience all in itself - it features Ronnie's own hilarious terminology glossary), order C.A.S.B.D. and get ready to be blown away! Shred Pick - Commander N' Thief (4:37) Reviewed by Henry Bocanegra January 2000 Fairfield Weekly ©...Ronnie Neuhauser's Congregation Against Styrocultural Brain Damage. Umm, yeah. This is one of those bizarre entities that confound and befuddle. I guess you'd loosely refer to it as a rock opera. It has four acts, 22 tracks and a cast of 17. I suspect it's about the horrors of corporate America and about how democracy and humanity have been gobbled up--like maybe commerce is the new religion or something like that. There's a Government Pork Informer, The Commander 'n' Thief and several Malcontents, along with 'Non-Conformist Bellows of Disapproval.' Although I admit to a pre-conceived notion that Neuhauser was a talking head for the radical fringe, his soundtrack for reform is pretty coherent. And it's not just an elaborate ploy to mask a lack of talent--the music is good. Rock, R&B, funk, and lots of big-band horns. And there are pleasant surprises here and there like the suave, Latin-flavored guitar riffs and smoky beats in the midst of 'Congregation.' Act Two 'Bile from the Belly of a Jackal' has some real socio-political gems. The spoken word 'I Am the Media' makes some great points about mainstream sensationalistic brainwashing, which is why we here at the alternative press work for next to nothing to save our souls; and Neuhauser is good at making zealous, radical points in a witty, well-organized way so as not to scare the moderates among us. 'Tax Monster' is really funny and unfortunately all too true; it's about what our tax money goes toward--like studies on public approval of beets. One of my favorites is 'Lust in Oval Space,' which is a very beatnik experimental spoken-word piece, interspersed with tight and noodley guitar solos, featuring a presidential impersonation claiming, 'I did not sexually harass that small-breasted woman.' It's an ambitious project and a surprisingly successful one. Can you imagine this guy live? By Stefanie Ramp.