Altar Boys were a Christian punk rock band from California formed in 1982. Members included Mike Stand (vocals, songwriting, and guitar), Jeff Crandall (drums), Steve Pannier (guitars), Mark Robertson (bass), and Ric Alba.
The Altar Boys helped pioneer Christian rock music. They were known for their Ramones-style punk music which was radically different than the Christian music common at the time of their formation. Especially in their early years, they were known for being explicit with their faith in their lyrics. Their sound was heavily influenced by the punk rock scene in Southern California, and they quickly became one of the best known Christian bands on that scene.
The Altar Boys' first album issued on various labels (e.g. Ministry Resource Center/MRC, Maranatha! Music, and Broken Records) sold over 7,000 copies with their second selling 20,000 units in its first two months of release.
Their third and fourth releases, Gut Level Music and Against the Grain, propelled them to national standing. Gut Level Music was explicitly aimed at a secular audience, and marked changes designed to enhance their credibility with that audience. Their lyrical approach changed toward a more subtle expression of their faith. They also refined their sound in an attempt to distance themselves from the punk "garage band" image that they had acquired early on.
The band went on an "indefinite hiatus" in 1992. The group did a number of reunion concerts most notable was Cornerstone 2000 and 2002, and the Broken Records reunion event in July 2005. The group's final performance occurred in June 2006 at the Corona del Mar fair grounds.
- 1984: Altar Boys (Ministry Resource Center)
- 1985: When You're a Rebel (Alarma Records)
- 1986: Gut Level Music (Alarma Records)
- 1987: Against the Grain (Alarma Records)
- 1989: Forever Mercy (Alarma Records)
- 1990: The Collection (Alarma Records)
- 2000: Live at Cornerstone (M8 Distribution)
- 2000: Mercy Thoughts (M8 Distribution)
- 2015: Gut Level Music (Girder Records)
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