In 1991 and early 1993, Mike Stand and the Altar Boys made a series of smart and passionate recordings for a future, brand-new Altar Boys project titled, No Substitute. Try as they may, however, the band was never able to release this record. Sadly, it was all but abandoned and thrown on the “scrap heap,” lost for all time…or wast it?
“Expect the unexpected?” “With God, all things are possible?” Well, ya, of course! But come on! A new release from the Altar Boys in 2018? What? How? That’s crazy! And the Altar Boys are inclined to say: “Exactly, we’re totally surprised ourselves!”
Fast forward to the fall of 2017. Mike had some unexpected free time on his hands that required him to take time off work. With nothing better to do he dug out and re-visted the No Substitute tracks and was blown away by the songs and the production. Upon the urging of both fans and friends, the Altar Boys got back together and decided that they needed to finish what they had started so long ago.
Now, some 25 years later, what seemed impossible all these years has miraculously happened. Lo Fidelity Records helped them launch a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised enough money finish the project. No Substitute was released in October of this year.
An Altar Boys Timeline
The Altar Boys is an Orange County California-based guitar driven power punk group with a message and sense of urgency that is hard to miss. The group came together in 1981 and was founded by both Mike Stand his cousin Jeff Crandall. Guitarist Steve Pannier and bassist and songwriter Ric Alba (later Mark Robertson replaced Ric on bass) rounded out the group.
As The Altar Boys’ chief songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, Mike led the band to produce five hit records: Altar Boys, When You’re A Rebel, Gut Level Music (GLM), Against The Grain, and Forever Mercy. Although Mike was very much the driving force of the group, it is important to note that The Altar Boys were very much a “band of brothers,” where the sum of the parts were greater than the whole.
In 1988, Mike also released his first solo effort, Do I Stand Alone. He followed this up with the 1990 release Simple Expression.
After 10 1/2 years of continually touring and recording, Mike and the other band members felt that the Altar Boys had accomplished their goals and mission. It was time to move on. Many of the band members, along with Mike, decided to finish college.
In early 1991 the group began planning a 6th release and commenced work on a new project titled No Substitute. The band incorporated a number these songs from the new project into their live set were they were well received. In July 1991 a photo shoot for the album was completed and Mike Stand recorded a “very detailed and meticulous” recording of 7 of the songs. Try as they could, The Altar Boys were never able to release this project, and it was indefinitely shelved as the band went on a permanent hiatus and parted ways on New Years Eve 1992. For the sake of posterity, another set of songs for No Substitute was recorded in early 1993 as a sort of tribute to what could have been. By late 1993 many of the songs for No Substitute were doled out to Mike’s latest project Clash of Symbols. Nevertheless, the majority of the tunes sat on the scrap heap begging for just one more listen and opportunity to be heard.
Hear Mike’s story of how he re-discovered the No Substitute recordings here:
For more info on No Substitute go to: https://www.altarboys.net