“Suspect Device” – Stiff Little Fingers


Great late-1970s punk rock from Northern Ireland, but seriously, that singer needs lozenges … STAT! I cringe when I think this was probably done in one take. I love how the chorus goes “Don’t believe them, don’t believe them, don’t be bitten twice” and then during the last chorus, the lyrics shift to “Don’t believe us!” instead of “them.”

Trivia note: the monster guitar riff at the beginning of this song was stolen from Montrose’s “Space Station #5.”  Considering that Sammy Hagar was the vocalist for Montrose and the riff from the Clash’s “Safe European Home” was allegedly stolen from Sammy Hagar’s “I’ve Done Everything For You,” it prompts the question, do all punk roads lead to Sammy Hagar?

“Rock Candy” – Montrose


I’ve always been a bit sheepish about admitting my love for this knuckle-dragging anthem of the early 1970s. Mostly because I’ve never been much of a fan of lead singer Sammy Hagar. However, I have to say Hagar delivers the goods here. Along with Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog” and Foghat’s “Slow Ride,” this is my favorite bass-heavy, multi-layered guitar, nasal-draining hard rock song of the bell-bottom and ludes decade. I’m sure this is on some gentleman’s club all-time Top 10 and if it’s not, it damn well should be. No less a man of taste than post-punk legend Julian Cope raved about Montrose’s first album in his recent book “Copendium,” so at least I have good company.