Montrose

Montrose

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The '70s gave us a slew of classic hard rock albums and though it hasn't had the lasting influence of, say, Boston's or Aerosmith's first albums, Montrose's eponymous debut proved equally influential and important in its day. Released in 1973, the record also introduced a young Sammy Hagar and his powerful vocals to the world, but the explosive aggression of Ronnie Montrose's biting guitar left no doubt as to why it was his name gracing the cover. A rock-solid rhythm section featuring drummer Denny Carmassi and bassist Bill Church certainly didn't hurt either, and unstoppable anthems such as "Rock the Nation" and their rowdy take on the jump blues chesnut "Good Rockin' Tonight" would lay the ground rules for an entire generation of late-'70s California bands, most notably Van Halen. The simple production techniques of Ted Templeman, who went on to work extensively with Van Halen, really lets the players shine and no amount of time can dim the sheer euphoria of "Bad Motor Scooter," the adolescent nastiness of "Rock Candy," and the simply gargantuan main riff of the phenomenal "Space Station #5." Montrose is a blast from start to finish and remains an essential addition to any collection of '70s hard rock and early heavy metal.

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