Sweet was a band that never could really find who they wanted to be. But that’s not really a bad thing. In the wake of trying to find who they were as a band, they left a flood of great music. Hands down, “Give Us A Wink” was the hardest rocking album Sweet ever did. This was Sweet’s attempt at metal, and just like Led Zeppelin didn’t white nail reggae with their song “D’yer Mak’r” and Radiohead didn’t quite nail electronica with their album “Kid A”, sweet doesn’t quite nail metal here. But they come up with something that is so close, and at times, so much cooler.
There weren’t really any big hits off “Give Us A Wink”, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a phenomenal album. Sweet, up to this point has been restricted by their management and had a lot of their songs written for them. This was the album where they decided they were going to do what they wanted to do. And what they wanted to do was rock their asses off.
Sweet never holds back on this album. The “Action” starts with a synth leading into vocal arrangements that segues into distorted power chords, a cash register, and a great guitar solo (yes, I said a cash register). It doesn’t let up until the last song on side one, and then only slightly. “Healer” could hardly be called a mellow song – it has more of a slow, eerie and then bluesy feeling.
My only gripe about this album is that the beginning to side two opens with “The Lies In Her Eyes” with its synthesizer opening that is a bit too familiar with “Fox On The Run”, a previous hit by Sweet. But the moment is short, but Sweet.
Cockroach has one of the coolest reverb drenched drum intros of any song. It is followed by “Keep It In” which is an unbelievably twisted Jam. This was the song where Sweet put out to prove that as musicians, they were a force to be reckoned with. This was followed by the album closer, “Fourth Of July”, which brings it down just a little (but not much).
Previous to this album, I had heard Sweet only on their two hits at that time, “Fox on the Run” and “Ballroom Blitz”. A girl that I was seeing for very brief time, had an 8-track tape of “Give Us A Wink” and gave it to me because she didn’t like it. I loved it.