Montrose's self-titled debut is one of the better rock ’n’ roll platters of the '70s. Featuring singer/guitarist Sammy Hagar (who later reprised his frontman role in Van Halen, a band heavily influenced by Montrose) and the extremely gifted guitarist Ronnie Montrose (who'd already done sessions with folks as varied as Van Morrison and Herbie Hancock), this album is filled with hearty-riffed rock ’n’ rollers ready-made for speeding Camaros, backyard kegger parties, and girls breaking curfew in too-loose halter tops. Easy sexual metaphors abound, of course, always in the guise of anthems—see “Bad Motor Scooter,” “One Thing on My Mind,” and the absolute California cock-rock classic “Rock Candy.” But you can’t really fault Montrose for that; it was the idiom of the times, as far as FM rock radio was concerned. And no one—not Foghat, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, or Black Oak Arkansas—did American-sounding rock better in 1973 than Montrose. And for a true, transcendental hard-rock moment, listen here to Montrose’s skull-crushing cover of Ray Brown’s 1947 jump-blues classic “Good Rocking Tonight.” Timeless.

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