BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Unapologetically bombastic and flush with snotty attitude, Sweet offered a hybrid of hard rock and heavy metal that would have had them taken far more seriously if their bubblegum beginnings hadn’t waylaid them early on. By the time they evolved into their own in the late ‘70s, their ambitions were beginning to show, and if they been able to keep pace with the competition — bands like Iron Maiden, the Scorpions and April Wine — they might have prolonged their time on the charts. As it was, by the time this album originally appeared in 1992, they had already overstayed their welcome, destined to spend the remainder of their career in decline. Forced to settle for being a flash in the pan, Sweet never realized their true potential in that long-ago post punk world.
Looking back in retrospect, The Answer still isn’t half bad, a tidy collection of brash radio-ready thrash with enough catchy hooks to deem it a guilty pleasure. In truth, Sweet was then a reconfigured outfit, one assembled by guitarist Andy Scott almost on a whim to reclaim its namesake’s former glories. With a new line-up in place, the band made the wise decision not to take themselves too seriously, with the result that songs such as “X-Ray Spec’s,” “Nouveau Rock Star” and “Marshall Stack” exude their charms in a Spinal Tap sort of way, all serious intent mooted by big haired buffoonery. And while their market was clearly confined to teenage boys, there’s something sweetly innocent — pardon the pun — about the posing, primping and posturing that accompanies such would-be anthems as “Do As I Say” and “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again.” So share it with the kids, but don’t be too surprised if you get sucked in yourself.
DOWNLOAD: “Do As I Say,” “X-Ray Spec’s”