Altar Boys – Gut Level Music – 1986

The Altar Boys are back with their 3 album and their best up to that point. It is a rockin album with no silly ballads to spoil it. Of interest is the Donna Summer “Unconditional Love” cover. Whoever had this idea nailed it. The song works fantastic in their style. I actually went back to listen to the Donna Summer version and it was actually pretty good too but this version tops all other versions. Strangely the song was originally written by Michael Omartian who I guarantee never imagined a version like this. Probably the best track on the album was You Found Me and it was a staple on most mixed tapes of the period.

Tracklist
1 – You Are Loved – 4:12
2 – G.L.M. (Gut Level Music) – 4:04
3 – I’m Not Talking About Religion – 3:58
4 – I Question It – 2:45
5 – You Found Me – 3:42
6 – Unconditional Love – 3:33
7 – There Is A Love – 4:18
8 – Calling To You – 3:12
9 – Final Hour – 2:56
10 – Life Begins At The Cross – 4:09

Credits
Bass – Ric Alba
Drums – Jeff Crandall
Engineer [Original Release] – Doug Doyle
Executive-Producer – Gregory Hays
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Mike Stand
Producer [Original Release] – Terry Scott Taylor
Producer [Original Release], Engineer [Original Release] – Rob Watson
Remastered By – Keith Sorrells

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The Fourth Watch – Dare To Be The One – 1986

What happens when Undercover meets the Altar Boys? The Fourth Watch is what happens. Apparently Bill Walden (Undercover) and Steve Steve Pannier (Altar Boys) were working together from 84 to 87 along with drummer Bill Lawrence, and bass players, Kevin Elling and then Mike Cowden. In 1986 they released this album and what an album it is. It has a decidedly New Wave/Rock sounds that screams 80’s. I hate to do this but there are several tracks that have an intro that has me waiting for Bono vocals to kick in. Too bad this was their only offering as I would have liked to hear more.

Tracklist
1 – Dare To Be The One – 4:39
2 – You Can Change The World – 3:43
3 – Chase Away The Darkness – 4:08
4 – Holy – 4:25
5 – Slipping Thru Your Fingers – 3:22
6 – One Truth – 4:50
7 – I Will Sing – 3:00
8 – On Fire For You – 4:18
9 – Burning Hearts – 5:06

Credits
Backing Vocals – Bill Batstone, Warren Ham
Bass – Kev • X
Drums – Bill Lawrence
Engineer – Gord Driver
Guitar – Steve Pannier
Keyboards – Jeff Lams
Layout – Ed McTaggart
Lead Vocals – Bill Walden
Mixed By – Gord Driver
Percussion – Bill Lawrence
Performer [The Fourth Watch Is] – Bill Lawrence, Bill Walden, Kev • X, Steve Pannier
Producer – Jeff Lams
Written-By – The Fourth Watch

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Regency Music
Mastered At – Future Disc

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Altar Boys – When You’re A Rebel – 1985

When You’re A Rebel was the second album from the Altar Boys. The first album had sold well considering the style of the music, and the second sold better establishing the Altar Boys as a mainstream Christian band regardless of the punk flavourings of their music. The album was also released in Germany but unfortunately I was unable to find any sales numbers. I’d be interested to know how well it did there.

Track Listing:
1 – Difference In Me – 4:06
2 – More Of You – 2:58
3 – Calling Out To Believers! – 3:23
4 – When I’m With God – 2:33
5 – I’m Into God (Reprise) – 1:44
6 – When You’re A Rebel – 3:58
7 – Jesus Is Number One – 2:46
8 – If You Let Him In – 2:25
9 – When I See You – 3:08
10 – He Knows You Better – 2:58
11 – Does God’s Heart Cry? – 4:35

Credits:
Bass, Piano, Backing Vocals – Rick Alba
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Jeff Crandall
Engineer – Derald Daugherty
Guitar [Additional] – Steve Pannier
Guitar, Vocals – Mike Stand
Mixed By – Leroy Cahuenga
Producer – B.B. Stone

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MRC Sampler – What’s Shakin – 1984

This album was a sampler from the record label “Ministry Resource Center”.

It features some known bands but there are a few bands on the album which never released an album. There are also some songs that were previously unreleased. All in all a must have album.

Track Listing:
1 – Undercover – One Of These Days – 2:24
2 – The Proclaimers – Rejoice – 2:10
3 – Stephen Crumbächer – It Don’t Matter – 4:00
4 – Youth Choir – It’s So Wonderful – 1:56
5 – Altar Boys – Go For It – 2:14
6 – The Lifters – Listen Children – 2:15
7 – The Omega Band – Idols – 2:43
8 – Sharon McCall – From The Grave – 3:50
9 – Malcolm And The Mirrors – Apathy – 4:00
10 – CIA – Your Choice – 2:30
11 – Stephen Crumbächer – It Don’t Matter (Reprise) – 1:02

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Altar Boys – (self titled) – 1984

Altar Boys’ self titled debut albut came out in 1984.

This California style punk was typical of what punk was at the time, although now we seem to have a lot of splinters of types of punk – melodic, thrash, pop, hardcore, metalcore, screamo, and more.

A lot of punk was poppy at the time, modeled after The Ramones, and sounding like a precursor to MXPX or Green Day.

Starting to play together around 1978, musicians that would later form the bands Undercover, Lifesavors, and Altar Boys (in that order) all came out of the same scene. Mike Stand and Ric Alba ended up in Altar Boys along with Jeff Crandall and Steve Pannier, while Mike’s brother was in Undercover, and Ric had previously done some playing with Lifesavors.

Ric also played with Undercover before Altar Boys. In the spirit of punk rock, these songs are all high energy and a lot of fun, a hallmark of Altar Boys from start to end.

Track Listing:
1 – Alright! – 2:24
2 – I’m Into God – 2:52
3 – Have A Clue – 2:36
4 – Where’s It Gonna Lead You – 2:24
5 – You Found Me – 3:46
6 – Take In The Son – 2:44
7 – Well O.K. – 2:36
8 – Good Life – 3:31
9 – Oh, Oh Nancy – 1:33
10 – We Love Jesus – 2:40
11 – It’s Up To You – 3:07

Credits:
Art Direction – Alex MacDougall
Backing Vocals – Jeff Crandall, Mike Stand (2), O-Joe*
Design [Cover Design] – Debby Edwards
Engineer – Uncle Dave Hackbarth* (tracks: 12 to 15), Derald Daugherty*, Joey Taylor*
Executive-Producer – Bradley S. Hamilton
Performer [Altar Boys Are], Bass, Keyboards – Rick Alba*
Performer [Altar Boys Are], Drums, Vocals – Jeff Crandall
Performer [Altar Boys Are], Guitar – Steve Pannier
Performer [Altar Boys Are], Guitar, Lead Vocals – Mike Stand (2)
Photography By – Oh Oh Nancy
Producer – Joey Taylor*
Recorded By – Dan Willard (tracks: 4)
Saxophone – Bill Walden

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