April 1997

Sonny Greenwich Sr. and Jr.
Welcome: Mother Earth
Justin Time Records

The father and son team of guitarists Sonny Greenwich, Sr. and Jr. brings straight-ahead experience and alternative rock sensibility to the excellent Canadian quintet, Meantime, bridging the gap between two creative jazz generations. The band's complex, barrier-breaking Welcome: Mother Earth (Justin Time 80-2; 60:05) offers engaging art-rock soundscapes with soul. "Tortoise Shell Sky" stacks a grainy-grunge percussion backdrop and noteless, plucked percussive string layer, with light guitar and droning guitar effects, building to a beautiful burst of sound without a trace of sappiness. "Down By the Farm," marked by a freaky, X-Files worthy introduction, finds bassist Al Baculis singing a twisted stalker song deadpan beside a big dance drum march (sample lyric: "I will bury you down by the farm/I will bury you right beside my mom"). Papa and son Greenwhich also face off in direct stylistic contrast on the gutty-deep "Cruisin' the Hood," alternating solos between Sonny Jr's wailing rock licks and Sonny Sr's more spacious, explorative tone. Whether in skittering, knuckleball fusion ("Detour") and earth sound-sample driven soundscapes ("Welcome: Mother Earth"), the tight quintet always maintains a strong point-of-view, crafting pieces which are never cliched.

Originally published in April 1997
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