Montgomery Gentry’s sound was fully formed from the start. Tattoos & Scars, the duo’s debut album, adds the muscle of a rock band to the down-home storytelling of country music. The boot-stomping riffs of “Hillbilly Shoes,” “Trying to Survive” and “Trouble Is” form a connection not only to the Southern rock of Lynyrd Skynyrd, but also to hard rock and even heavy metal. On the other hand, “I’ve Loved a Lot More Than I’ve Hurt” is traditional country that would make George Jones proud. More than any other modern group, Montgomery Gentry show that rock and country are not only compatible — they’re complementary. The biggest and best songs on Tattoos & Scars combine the two forms, and still manage to be some of the catchiest tunes of 1999: “Trying to Survive,” “Lonely and Gone,” and “Daddy Won’t Sell the Farm.” Throughout their debut, Montgomery Gentry never sound rushed, and they're careful to keep things from getting too sweet. The duo’s steadfast demeanor is what separates them from a cast of peers who sometimes seem willing to do anything to get radio play.