1989 Alarma Records
Produced By: Steve Griffith
lyrics (click to enlarge)
Forever Mercy (4:21)
Listen Up (4:29)
The Meaning of Life (4:49)
Ride This Train (4:27)
World Burning (4:03)
Here Ends the Night (3:54)
Love Eternal (3:57)
More Than Words (3:50)
Silent Night (4:18)
Lead Vocals: Mike Stand
Guitars: Mike Stand, Ric Alba, Steve Griffith
Bass: Ric Alba
Drums/Percussion: Jeff Crandall, Steve Griffith
Vocals: Ric Alba, Jeff Crandall, Steve Griffith
Additional Guitars: Steve Pannier (More Than Words, World Burning, Ride This Train)
Believe it or not, but it took me awhile before I discovered the Altar Boys. Growing up listening pretty much to only Christian music, I wouldn't hear their classic song "Forever Mercy" until my older brother brought home a FrontLine music CD sampler. After listening to the title song I was a fan. I could tell this trio was talented and Mike had a great voice. Throw in the vocal harmonies of Ric and Jeff and you've got a great sounding band.
I can't quite put my finger on who the Altar Boys remind me of when I listen to the title track of this album, but it's got a great 80's radio sound. "Ride This Train" opens up with Mike Stand on the harmonica and you instantly know you're going get a bluesy sounding song. Not my favorite, but it's a good change of pace in the track listings. Probably the best song, in my opinon, on this album is "World Burning". Opening with the chorus that is easy to sing along, I find myself singing right along w/ Mike every time I listen to this song. The Altar Boys' song "More Than Words" predates Extreme's song of the same name and I enjoy both songs. Both songs are about love, but obviously in different ways. "Silent Night" isn't the song that you may think it is, but it does have to do with the birth of Christ. It's actually a well written song and one that I'd put in my Christmas rotation without a doubt.
I have to admit it was a lot of fun listening to this album from beginning to end a few times recently while I worked on this post. There may be one or two songs that I look for the skip button, but overall it's a great album. It has a dated, 80's sound, more so than some of their labelmates at the time, but I'm OK with that. Thankfully this album isn't hard to come by on the secondary market. A quick search on eBay yielded several results for the original Alarma CD and cassette and the majority of the listings were pretty affordable. If by chance the Altar Boys somehow passed you by in the late 80's or early 90's, give 'em a try.