Altar Boys

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Not to be confused with Altar Boyz.
For the ministers at religious services, see Altar server and Acolyte.

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.

Background[edit]

The Altar Boys helped pioneer Christian rock music.[1] They were known for their Ramones-style punk music which was radically different than the Christian music common at the time of their formation.[2] Especially in their early years, they were known for being explicit with their faith in their lyrics.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

Their third and fourth releases, Gut Level Music and Against the Grain, propelled them to national standing.[1][2] Gut Level Music was explicitly aimed at a secular audience, and marked changes designed to enhance their credibility with that audience.[4] Their lyrical approach changed toward a more subtle expression of their faith.[5] They also refined their sound in an attempt to distance themselves from the punk "garage band" image that they had acquired early on.[5]

The band went on an "indefinite hiatus" in 1992.[3] The group did a number of reunion concerts most notable was Cornerstone 2000 and 2002,[citation needed] and the Broken Records reunion event in July 2005.[citation needed] The group's final performance occurred in June 2006 at the Corona del Mar fair grounds.[citation needed]

Mike Stand has resurrected many of the Altar Boys songs with a "punktry" project called The Altar Billies.[6]

Former drummer and Stand's cousin, Jeff Crandall, is currently the worship pastor at Saguaro Canyon Church in Tucson, Arizona.[7]

Album discography[edit]

  • 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)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Newcomb, Brian Quincy (May–June 1998). "History: Altar Boys". 7ball (18). 
  2. ^ a b c Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (First printing ed.). Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. pp. 34–35. ISBN 1-56563-679-1. 
  3. ^ a b Thompson, John J. (2000). Raised by Wolves. ECW Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-55022-421-4. 
  4. ^ a b Well, Chris (June 1986). "The Altar Boys Come Out of the Garage". CCM Magazine. 8 (12): 14–15. ISSN 0746-0066. 
  5. ^ a b Newcomb, Brian Quincy (December 1987). "Altar Boys Make A Human Sound". CCM Magazine. 10 (6): 25. ISSN 1524-7848. 
  6. ^ Un (2011-11-01). "The Altar Billies | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  7. ^ "Music Ministries – Saguaro Canyon EFC". Saguarocanyon.org. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 

External links[edit]

  • Altar Boys discography at MusicBrainz
  • [1] - Altar Boys Facebook page
  • [2] - Official Altar Boys YouTube channel
  • [3] - Altar Billies Facebook page
  • [4] - Altar Billies YouTube Channel