Sweeter Than the Day is the second release by the acoustic incarnation of Wayne Horvitz's Zony Mash. (The first was American Bandstand, subsequently reissued as Forever thanks to a legal dispute with Dick Clark.) Above all, it's a fantastic-sounding record. Rich, round tones emanate from Horvitz's piano and Timothy Young's six- and 12-string guitars, framed tastefully by Keith Lowe's resounding bass and Andy Roth's drums. The music is laid-back and a bit melancholy, with a layered folk-rock eclecticism that occasionally brings the Brian Blade Fellowship to mind. Upbeat swing tempos do crop up on "LTMBBQ" and "In the Lounge," and the group becomes quite agitated during the 12-toney "Irondbound." But the real gems are the mellow, melodic ones, particularly "Julian's Ballad," "Sweeter Than the Day," "The Beautiful Number 3" (by Timothy Young), and "The Little Parade." Time and again, Zony Mash manages to be both tuneful and highly angular in the same breath.