Gotta Give It Up


Pirates Press, 2022

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A relatively new Los Angeles trio with an ear for the unconventional, Anthony Rivera, Justin Smith and Tuna Tardugno, i.e. Sweat, are quite familiar with classic rock and raw punk sounds, too, and they bring a distinct abrasiveness and anger to this extremely well done first album that's lyrically sharp and musically furious.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Hit & Run” opens the listen with a thundering display of retro rock riffs meets modern hardcore energy in a way that brings to mind Thin Lizzy on steroids, and this approach continues to the hard hitting yet melodic, swirling climate of “Machismo”, which benefits from shouted backing vocals.

The middle tracks don't disappoint either, and include the swift drumming and yelping intensity of “Hard Grudge”, as well as the calmer moments of “Life/Death Complex” that showcase front woman Tardugno's unique set of pipes. “Bone To Pick” is then especially great, and emits tuneful, melodic guitar work alongside the charged rhythm section and Tardugno's high pitched shriek that's as intimidating as it is captivating.

Moving towards the end, the rumbling and rhythmic “Art Of Posing” certainly tips its hat to the hard rock of many decades ago, and “Poor Execution” exits the listen on a punchy and aggressive note that puts a firm exclamation point on the visceral record that's acutely intense and highly memorable from beginning to end.

Sweat is made up of members of Graf Orlock, Dangers and Ghostlimb, and their bristling formula will certainly appeal to fans of Wipers, Cro-Mags, Motorhead, Hot Snakes and Rival Mob. With that said, if your interests fall anywhere between '70s rock, hard rock, punk, hardcore, stoner rock, grunge or alt-rock, Gotta Give It Up will likely be the best 10 songs you've heard in a long time.

Rating: A-

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