MONTROSE – Montrose [Rock Candy remastered & reloaded]
Rock Candy Records has just ‘Remastered & Reloaded‘ a new batch of 3 essential MONTROSE albums (two of them featured on the blow few days ago), but the specialized reissue label already released Montrose self-titled debut some time ago. Let’s check how it sounds to complete the package.
Montrose debut was (and still is) one of the most influential Hard Rock albums of all time, specially for American musicians. Ronnie Montrose was an in-demand session guitarist before that, but he was searching for a self-directed musical exploration when he met a young, inexperienced Sammy Hagar.
They recruited beast drummer Denny Carmassi and within a month ‘Montrose the band’ signed to Warner Bros. Records, they got Ted Templeman producing, Don Landee engineering and the first Montrose album was born a month after that.
The disc combines good-time, party rock with a metal edge and slick guitar work, a sound that bands like Van Halen and Aerosmith would later adopt and polish to perfection (Templeman / Landee were Van Halen’s initial tech team).
Montrose’s debut is universally regarded as one of, if not the greatest hard rock albums of all time. It introduced both a sound and a swagger that single-handedly dragged heavy rock kicking and screaming from its turgid proto-metal roots into a modern streamlined era, opening up a brave new world of possibilities.
For guitarist Ronnie Montrose and frontman Sammy Hagar, this was indeed history in the making.
It has been rightfully said that there is not a weak track on this album. Every guitar riff, drum break and ball-squeezing vocal rings out with a pristine clarity that sounds as astounding now as it did when it was first released.
Essential to their monumental sound is the creative axis of Sammy Hagar and Ronnie Montrose, who provide the classic guitar/vocalist foil, in a tradition set by Plant/Page, Jagger/Richards and Tyler/Perry.
With Hagar’s immediately identifiable vocals and Montrose’s juggernaut guitar riffs the results are truly mind blowing.
It is an album full of classic hard rock moves.
From ‘Rock The Nation’, to ‘Bad Motor Scooter’, through ‘Rock Candy’ (a track so good, that in fact Rock Candy Records was named in its honour!) to the truly Herculean ‘Space Station #5’ there is no denying the sheer thermo-nuclear power.
“Montrose” is a fantastic album ahead of its time, and still sounds fresh today thanks to this punchy Rock Candy Records remastering.
Think first Van Halen albums with Hagar on vocals instead DL Roth, and why not, early Aerosmith. Production is exceptional for the age, with a crispy and sparkling sound. Kerrang! readers voted “Montrose” as the 4th best & influential Metal Album of All Time, and I completely agree with that poll.
A Must Have Classic.
01 – Rock The Nation
02 – Bad Motor Scooter
03 – Space Station #5
04 – I Don’t Want It
05 – Good Rockin’ Tonight
06 – Rock Candy
07 – One Thing On My Mind
08 – Make It Last
Sammy Hagar – lead vocals
Ronnie Montrose – guitar
Bill Church – bass
Denny Carmassi – drums
BUY IT !