Altar Boys – No Substitute

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you – this is a new release from the Altar Boys… kind of. You see, for decades No Substitute was a rumored “lost” Altar Boys album. In an interview for Down the Line in 2009, Mike Stand confirmed those old rumors of an unreleased album to be true to some degree. The songs for the album had been recorded as demos, but the album was shelved when the Altar Boys called it a day. Some songs (in newer format) made it into the Clash of Symbols catalog. Then more recently there were Facebook postings about a cassette of said demos surfacing, and how the demos were near studio quality even. Then the band decided to dust off a couple of the demo songs for a documentary. Then silence. Finally, Lo-Fidelity announced out of nowhere that all of the songs would be finished (by adding a few missing full instrument tracks), cleaned up, and released. Miracles do happen in all kinds of ways. But the question is – what would these tracks sound like? I don’t have the demo versions to compare to, but the final tracks on the official release sound studio quality to me. Stylistically, I would say this continues well from Forever Mercy while still reaching back to some of the anthemic punk of Gut Level Music. A bit too melodic to be pure punk, but a bit too punk to be pure rock? I got my version on vinyl, but you can find various digital versions out there as well (CD, download, and streaming). The layout, sound, and packaging are all top notch. Great job by all involved in bringing this long lost album back from the beyond. This was initially funded by a Kickstarter, but you can get extra copies now (although I would suggest you make sure to snag a copy before they run out).

[2018 Lo-Fidelity Records | Purchase:]

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