A collection of songs that brothers John and Steve Conte have been sitting on for a long time in hopes of doing some sort of “box set” for their band Crown Jewels – but there has never been a better time to release new music than now when people are isolating at home and need some joy & diversion in their lives.

Steve had this to say, “So – today I will be releasing this collection of songs on bandcamp.com (Here) entitled the Bootleg Rarities EP. It contains 6 well-recorded songs spanning the years 1992 – 1999 when we were most active in our writing & recording as the band Crown Jewels.

The important thing is that Bandcamp.com is waving all commision fees from artists today between 12 noon and 12 midnight EST so if you purchase it between those hours, my brother and I will get 100% of the money to split between us. This is important for us & our families since we are out of work for the for seeable future and could use all the income we can get right now.Please consider going to bandcamp and purchasing the EP…and don’t be fooled by the photo, this ain’t no jazz album – it’s pure rock ‘n roll, with soul – and pop melodies! (As per usual…)”.


March 20, 2020, multi-platinum, four-time GRAMMY-nominated rock band Goo Goo Dolls have released a brand new acoustic rendition of their song “Lost”, one of the standout songs from the band’s recent 12th studio album Miracle Pill (Warner Records). The heartfelt, stripped-down track can be heard now via all digital streaming platforms and a lyric video for it can be seen HERE

Miracle Pill officially arrived in September 2019 and was described as “potentially the biggest Dolls album released to date (Planet Rock Magazine)”, as well as one that “easily stands alongside the best of their career (PopMatters).” In addition to “Lost,” the engaging and timely album also features numerous other instant-classics such as the smash single “Miracle Pill”, the uplifting slow-burn “Autumn Leaves” and the massive pop anthem “Fearless”, which was added to the LA Dodgers in-stadium playlist last season.

Goo Goo Dolls have just wrapped their sold-out UK tour and will be headlining their own US tour this summer. Produced by Live Nation, the 29-date tour will kick off on July 23rd and visit illustrious outdoor venues across North America including Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO, Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, TN and The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Lifehouse and Forest Blakk will provide support for all shows on the run and a complete list of dates and ticket information can be found at the band’s website.

July 23 – Boise, ID – Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater
July 26 – Portland, OR – Oregon Zoo Amphitheater+
July 28 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre
July 29 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre^
July 31 – Maryland Heights, MO – Saint Louis Music Park
August 1 – Lincoln, NE – Pinewood Bowl Theater
August 3 – Kansas City, MO – Starlight Theatre
August 5 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center
August 6 – Indianapolis, IN – The Amphitheater At White River State Park
August 7 – Chicago, IL – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
August 9 – Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
August 10 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
August 12 – Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
August 13 – Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap+
August 15 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
August 16 – Syracuse, NY – St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview
August 18 – Boston, MA – Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion
August 19 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
August 21 – Darien Center, NY – Darien Lake Amphitheater
August 22 – Philadelphia, PA – TD Pavilion at the Mann
August 23 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center
August 25 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater
August 26 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place
August 28 – Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
August 29 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater
August 30 – Atlanta, GA – Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park
September 1 – Houston, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
September 2 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
September 5 – Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theatre


So The Chats have the cops to thank for the title of their debut album, ‘High Risk Behaviour’ and to be fair it sounds like their flying by the seat of their pants at times – making it up as they go along and getting away with the biggest heist in punk rock history with a bunch of songs hanging on by a thread through more luck than judgement.

It was the youtube smash of ‘Smoko’ that brought these three oddballs to the wider worlds notice with a DIY sound of three yobs goofing off and managing to brush off a little bit of magic at the same time.  If you think their the Aussie Barron nights for the new punk rock generation or the real deal it matters not there is no denying they have the tunes and once they crawl in your head good luck shaking them out.  Like Amyl and her sniffers before them, these cats are the new big cheeses of Oz punk so get used to it and move over Cosmic Psychos and shuffle up Grindhouse because The Chats are taking over.

‘Stinker’ is very much like Pete Shelly had too much sun down on Bondi Beach and ran into the Saints who happened to rope him into penning a few tunes.  Its sharp and boundless energy and the lyrics were deffo penned at the back of the class on the inside of a pack of rizlas.  Hold on to your board shorts kids because ‘Drunk And Disorderly’ is full of Four X on a wife beater bender.  Get it down you and the next round is on you.

Don’t worry if your attention span is short because the songs are as well shorter than Paul Daniels and Ronnie Corbett put together and twice as entertaining. Less than half an hour of wonderful sharp – on the money punk rock n roll.  It’s not rocket science nor is it clever.  The lyrics tell tales of pubs, Wanking, legging it from restaurants, Their mates, boredom and everything you’d expect from three bums or so they’d have you believe but I recon behind it all is three focussed lads who know exactly what they’ve happened upon.  It’s a good fucking time, No, It’s the best of times.  Noisy, funny, energetic, comfortable, uncomplicated punk rock and roll and I fuckin’ love it.  Oh, and if Iggy pop is on board then that’s good enough for me.  Pick this up and fight the Virus with punk rock play it loud and open the windows everyone can enjoy it then even if they don’t want to.

Now ‘Pub Feed’ makes me hungry and crave a party seven and the riff on ‘Ross River’ is sharp as fuck, its a simple process but why do hardly any bands make albums this simple sound this good? Maybe its not so easy otherwise there would be hundred doing it but there isn’t.  So on that basis all hail Eamon, Matt and Josh you fuckin’ beauts.  How can you not fall in love with this?  Just get it and play it and throw yourself around when its on. Don’t be a miserable cunt (to be fair that’s impossible when it’s playing) buy it and fall in love with punk rock n roll again, simple really,  Everyones happy now’days and when they gang up on the mic for the final track you know its sung/shouted with a wink of the eye because they’re spot on it is better than you.


Buy ‘High Risk Behaviour’ –  Here

Follow The Chats:

The first single from MMATSU’s debut album due out on all platforms 3rd April 2020, “Silent Screams” is a literal dream-come-lyrical creation by Millie during one of her darkest hours to date.

Suicidal thoughts are hard to deal with, even harder to talk about, and Millie wanted to channel the frustration she has with herself when she feels like she can’t speak, by expressing it through her music instead.

In the current climate, with all that’s going on in the world, our mental health can be even further stretched to it’s limits. It’s ok to not be ok, but when you’re not ok, it’s so hard.

Please try to remember that talking is the first step to healing, and we’d like to encourage any of you who struggle as Millie does, to reach out to a doctor/friend/family member… You are NOT alone. Call Samaritans (UK): 116 123

Debut LP from The Mark Vodka Group oh you know those guys from Nova Scotia, Canada. Well, it’s the place to be and the best band there are called The Mark Vodka Group, that’s a fact I’ve not seen disputed and they include members of the Booji Boys? Their 2019 opus ‘Tube Reducer’ was reviewed on these very pages last year. This however is a different beast altogether as ‘I Wanna Piss In The Face Of The World’ kicks things offs we strap ourselves in for a rocket ride of punk rock that raw, rapid and reckless.  It’s taking no prisoners as it rattles through the catchy fast-paced opener.

This is different from the Boojis, of course. While they bury hooks in clouds of distortion, the Mark Vodka Group go for a more accessible sound, Sure its still ‘lo-fi’ and very much DIY. They’ve had their sound described like “a bare-bones Descendants at their most irritably bratty, stealing the Oblivians’ homework and doodling stupid faces all over the most insightful parts”. I wouldn’t dispute that.  ‘Goon’ is fash and sharp and to the point, it sounds dumb and full of fun as it races to the finish line, Punk as fuck one might say.

It might be quick but its tuneful and ‘Boy (I’m Allergic To You)’ has a tip of the hat to the kings of melodic punk-pop Buzzcocks.  It’s not the only time the homage to the Buzzcocks is aired on this record either ‘Everybody’s Punk Now’, which also boasts a killer Buzzcocks homage. Truth be told, Homages seem like a good idea as ‘You’ve Got To Split’ tips the cap to the Ramones.  That’s two greats being aped so you know where these guys are coming from right? Right! Even the song titles give a hint ‘Now I Wanna Be A Bad Boy’ they’ve even got a tune for big-time Charlies and they spit out contempt on ‘Big Time Rocker’ and throw in a suitably smart solo to ram their point home even if they are playing to the converted. 

‘Touch Of Grey’ reminds me of the great Pete Perrett and his only ones with its gentler less confrontational strummings. Which only leaves ‘Mark’s Blues’ laments at the album’s close, even when the world turns to shit, there’s always booze: “The drinking hasn’t let me down yet.” I guess Mark Vodka isn’t just a random name. This is a really good record, in a time when new bands are thin on the ground especially ones who can pick up the torch and run with it so raise a glass to Mark Vodka Group. 

Record Label :Facebook

Author: Dom Daley

Ditches, from outta Stockholm Sweden which is already a good start seeing as the country has always thrown up great garage punk rock n roll bands from the Nomads to Hellacopters to the Hives and many many more well, Ditches picked up the baton and seem to be running away with it.  If you were to cut em through the middle they’d have a core of Buzzcocks melodies with some bubblegum holding it together via some pretty nifty power-pop whilst heading through the backstreets after dark wearing skinny jeans and sneakers they only stop to smoke a cigarette and pogo before they get back to it.

The melodies come thick and fast with an emphasis on the fast. Opener ‘Out Of This’ sets the pace and the tone and that Shelley melody blueprint is evident on ‘Get Away’. For a debut LP, they are right on the money with leather jackets with the collar turned up these snotty oiks have to know that they can pen some top brain candy that gets in and settles for a while making you feel great inside with that power pop punk rock glow of satisfaction.

The production is bright without glossing over the rough edges, ‘Stitch Me Up’ being a great example.  Cool chorus and a real sugar rush of a tune. With eleven songs sticking to the formula its a great debut and with all the promise of another top turn hailing from Sweden in 2020 is exactly what we need another generation of punks coming through re-energising a scene and really appreciating what it takes to write great music. Its like hearing stuff like the Undertones again but from a different time totally – I bet these songs are great live n loud in some sweaty dive bar where you can really lock into the rapid beat and chiming guitars.  they seem to know exactly what they’re good at and stick to it well. not a bad track amongst the eleven on offer.  Let’s hear it for Ditches more peaks than troughs.



Author: Dom Daley

This fully restored and expanded set from Woolwich Coronet This 2020 version has been newly remastered and includes several tracks that were left off the original release! Includes all-new artwork with full liner notes and a personal message from drummer Rat Scabies !

Available on both digipak CD and a 2LP vinyl set in your choice of either RED or BLUE vinyl! I had this when it first came out many moons ago and loved it.  It captured the band at the time perfectly.  whilst they might have been at a commercial career-high the studio albums were a bit beige around the time of MCA but live they still had it and that tour was a blaze of fun.

Expanded to nineteen tracks this is well worth tracking down and getting hold of from the opening keyboards of ‘Curtain Call’ they were on fire. The quality of the recording is good as well not overdubbed nor flat this is a picture of a band living it large and doing it well. As you would expect there is a decent smattering of tracks from ‘Phantasmagoria’ and ‘Shadow Of Love’ particularly sound great. As does the much-maligned ‘Grimly Fiendish’ that I quite enjoy hearing live these days and back in the day or the mid-’80s to be precise it was quite a departure. It seems odd to hear tracks like ‘There’ll Come A Day’ played so fast and full of energy. that tour with The Fuzztones was exceptional and I have such fond memories of Cardiff New Ocean Club.

‘Gun Fury’ makes me smile as does the version of ‘Lust For Life’ 1985 seems like yesterday but its also so long ago.  when the Damned could have been and should have been we are left nuggets of pure Gold like this recording to remind us that it doesn’t matter what happened commercially because they were always the best and still are capable of amazing shows and the odd record that ignites a fire inside my heart and it seems odd to hear them end the set with a one two of ‘Disco Man’ Val Doonigan style followed by a rip-roaring slash of ‘Born To Kill’  If only all bands were this good.  Don’t think twice just buy it and revel in it. Fiendishly good!


Author: Dom Daley

Stage it Here


Strange Unit gonna be doing some ONLINE gigz during this crazy, unprecedented time.  We ask you all to follow his page  Here where he will be doing weekly live gigz from his garage! All thingz considered, this is a good time to be a onemanboyweirdoband.

He will be doing multiple shows to ensure friends from UK, Europe, USA, Japan and of course Australia get entertained.

He’ll be donating any tips* to venues affected by this fucking mental situation.

Thank you!

Please share and tell ’em Strange Unit sent ya! Spread the word folks

Rough Trade one of the finest independent record stores in the Western World situated in the fine city of Bristol – home to many a good venue and champion of the arts be it paintings or music Bristol has always had a good grounding and been the stop of many a great band.  Tonight it played host to Brightons finest those cheeky chaps who make up Bar Stool Preachers.  The venue is a clean purpose-built a big storeroom.  Sure it has air conditioning (not switched on obviously) no windows, Painted black, no bar for people to congregate around and chatter its just four walls with a stage at one end with a pretty decent PA and tonight upon its boards treads the 12 legged groovers who are on a mission and six-man mission to spread the word of unity and Rock and Roll and whilst they go about their work they do it with a ten-mile wide smile and a helping hand.  You see the Bar Stool Preachers aren’t just a ska-punk band who dabble in several genres of punk rock but are busy making friends across the globe as they make sure there is a pretty impressive BSP carbon footprint left for all to see. If they’re not stateside or in Europe, they are zig-zagging across the UK playing to larger and larger venues packed with jumping bodies who are believing and getting on board this runaway train of a band.

They are about to release album number three as they finalise details and tracklist for it whilst making sure the songs are also road-tested as they seamlessly weave the new songs in with the old favourites.  Tonight got sweaty very very quickly as the enthusiastic audience didn’t need any coercing from Tom to get with the programme they were up for it from the start.

A bold move from the band starting with the awesome ‘One Fool Down’ that’s a statement of intent right there. The old old songs from that first record get things up to speed as ‘Trickle Down’ and ‘Looking Lost’ reintroduce everyone with what a good night out sounds like. Next up we get introduced to some of the new material and what an impressive couple of tunes they are with ‘Late Night Transmission’ and ‘Don’t Die Today’ showing that the band are on the right path with even better material and just watching them look like they are having the time of their lives all the time just like a great band should.  It’s not playing to a packed main stage at Rebellion or Punk Rock Bowling nor is it 20 thousand diggin the tunes in some aircraft hanger in Germany but you do get the same level of performance and once you lock into Gibbs metronomic tic from side to side you’re involved, oh don’t try running on the spot like Bungle he’s a professional.

Tonights set was perfect and went by in a flash as old mixed with the new and everything in-between as ‘8.6 Days’ ‘Raced Through Berlin’ kissed ‘Start New’ and ‘Ballad Of The M1’ off the first album and then they were gone, wow that was glorious stuff an exhilarating performance for an exceptional band who are right on the money at the moment and as they re-emerge soaking with perspiration there is time for a couple more and its a tight as two Rizzlas romp through ‘Choose My Friends’ before the inevitable knees-up of ‘Bar Stool Preachers’ and they were done.

These boys deserve every adventure they are being presented with because they have the X-Factor and more importantly they have some exceptional tunes no change that not some they have many exceptional songs – they are grounded and they are hungry and appreciative.  Get behind one of the brightest hopes we have on Shit Island now when can we do this all over again?