(Lo Fidelity Records)
The Altar Boys broke up in the early ‘90s and, aside from a few festival performances over the years, the punk/new wave pioneers have remained mostly silent. Some recently rediscovered tracks from nearly 30 years ago have given way to a brand new Altar Boys album, No Substitute.
For a set of songs recorded in 1990, No Substitute sounds amazingly fresh. The listener is instantly transported back with this collection of bright, optimistic tracks that highlight God’s loving heart for his people without sacrificing any rock and roll cred. The production is impeccable, and the guitar work and vocals scream through.
A notable highlight is “Rebel Rock,” a driving anthem about how God’s message endures, no matter the circumstances, and for an album that was shelved for almost three decades, that’s especially relevant. Overall, No Substitute is the kind of album that we’ll be talking about for years to come. Whether you were around for the original Altar Boys, or this is your first exposure, No Substitute shines all the same.