ALL MUSIC GUIDE
... calls the Last Conspirators “a powerful rock & roll band whose sound fuses old-school punk, roots rock, and heartland rock, with fierce, often politically charged lyrics on top. The Last Conspirators are fronted by singer and songwriter Tim Livingston a pioneering figure on the punk scene in New York State’s Hudson Valley.”
BIG TAKEOVER MAGAZINE
"If you want to know where the real songwriters in punk are this day and age, look no further"
Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover Magazine - ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
"Original punks like ex-Morons Tim Livingston don’t grow old, because life is never short on legitimate irritations—and because it’s still fun to kickstart real rock ’n’ roll’s engines with a guitar. Thus the “fury” celebrated on his Hudson Valley, NY band’s third LP (following 2007’s Warparty and 2010’s When It All Comes Down) refers to the on-target attack in word and sound. It’s a ’60s garage, pub rock, and Joe Strummer-fueled tempest, recorded in what sounds like “press-record-’n-go” full-bleed live context; so a boast like “Last One Standing” is 2013’s update to The Clash’s scathing “Last Gang in Town,” maybe. A Link Wray/Wipers-like diatribe “Radio Warfare” is the highlight, but from the single “Powerful Friends” to the call to arms “No Time For Egos,” it’s Fury’s furious, for sure"
Fred Mills, Blurt Magazine - ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
"*(Four Stars) Veterans of the original punk wars may grow up, get jobs, start families, and even “settle down,” but they never forget—the lessons of their youth, the stands they took, the sustenance they took from being cause-driven. And even when they drift into middle age, the personality-shaping events of yore continue to shape them and inform their artistry. Just ask Ian MacKaye or Henry Rollins. It’s also true for Tim Livingston, who was on the Albany scene in the late ‘70s with his band The Morons, and who resurfaced a few years ago fronting The Last Conspirators. A Celebration of Fury is the group’s third full-length, the followup to 2010’s highly regarded When It All Comes Down. Song titles like “Last Ones Standing,” “No Time For Egos” and of course “A Celebration of Fury” telegraph the intent here: the quartet has taken a look around and isn’t particularly thrilled by what it sees. To that end the band declares, per this seven-songer’s second track, “Radio Warfare.” Against a jungle-rock throb and ominous shards of spaghetti western guitar, Livingston decries the namby-pamby state of popular media. A few songs later, in the galloping Clash-like “No Time for Egos,” the group calls for a putting aside of personal agendas in the service of solidarity—heavy stuff indeed, and if that sounds like the Conspirators flirt with agitprop, well… how are you gonna get people to open their eyes without an initial round of provocation, anyway? Methinks Joe Strummer would make these guys his new favorite band were he still alive. In “Last Ones Standing” Livingston sings, in his trademark urgent, edgy voice, “There was a time/ We were young/ We were the rebel kind/ Always on the run/ Shaking things up/ Living by the gun.” This is no nostalgia trip, however, no wistful capitulation to growing older. Like I suggested in the first paragraph, Livingston & Co. draw strength from the past in order to more purposefully pursue the present. The rest of us can count The Last Conspirators among the good guys, the ones who desperately want us to make every moment count in the here and now..
David Fricke, Senior Editor Rolling Stone Magazine - ("Last Ones Standing" Video)
"thanks for the video clip of your band — it was rockin' stuff. I loved the drummer's Keith Moon break out at the end — he looked so controlled, and out of control, at the same time!
Ramsey Kanaan, MaximumRockNRoll Magazine - ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
"Seven-track effort of revolutionary rock n roll… suitable stirring. "No Time for Egos", "Radio Warfare", "Last Ones Standing" the title track etc.. Musically, they're in that Blasters, later period X rock & roll vein and the slower efforts pay more than a nod to 'Elvis'. 'Tis growing on me, for sure."
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide - ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
"There's defiance in the very name of the Last Conspirators, so they didn't need to call their third album A Celebration of Fury, but then again, subtlety isn't a tool in the band's arsenal. They're true believers, keeping the rock & roll flame burning even if it may no longer be fashionable to do so. Not that this quartet cares much for fashion. Protest and passion are at the forefront, with the band often coming across like an Americanized, middle-aged version of the Clash. None of this is intended as a slight. the Last Conspirators are proudly American, waging war against complacency and cherishing the rebels and outsiders on the fringes of American culture. Similarly, they like playing music that's part of the tradition and they wear their scars proudly, playing with the gravity and ballast that survivors have. If the group doesn't innovate on A Celebration Fury, they never suggest that this is on their minds, either. They're all about raging against the light, whether it's dying or burning bright, and if you share their dyed-in-the-wool rebel stance, this celebration of fury is bound to be somewhat invigorating."
Jeff Jarema - ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
"On this their third release, Upstate NY’s Last Conspirators sound better than ever delivering their trademark furious tempos. Just like the title suggests. But throughout their growing body of work, frontman Tim Livingston and gang once again prove they are no one trick pony. The head-on collision of anger and uplift in these lyrics, on newly-minted anthems “Radio Warfare” and “Somewhere Tonight in America” respectively, manage to raise the ghost of Strummer-Jones. Musically, the Last Conspirators get better with each release. On the opening “Last Ones Standing”, these guys prove once again their mastery of stripped-down punk rock. Yet at the close of this track, they throw in a violent, skillful drums-guitar battle straight out of ‘Who’s Next’. Across these seven new songs, their musical palette ranges from punk to subliminal psychedelia, steroid-strength power pop to one of the better vintage Stones-influenced sounds heard in awhile (the aforementioned “Somewhere Tonight”). At 23 minutes in length, in its economy it is sort of the anti-‘Sandinista’. Yet it rarely repeats itself. Consider this another triumph for these punk vets."
The Last Conspirators are about to unleash their third album, A Celebration of Fury, and they’re doing it in a big way with a CD release party performance at LarkFest in Albany on Saturday (September 21). Labeled by many as a punk band, these four musicians display their musical diversity with surf-inspired guitar in “Last Ones Standing,” ’60s jangling distorted guitar in “Radio Warfare,” the country/rock sound of “Somewhere Tonight in America” and ’60s psychedelic rock sprinkled in perfect proportions in “Desperate Skies.” After listening to the album, it’s apparent these guys are seasoned veterans at what they do.The production of the album by the band’s guitarist Terry Plunkett is spectacular. All of the tracks are balanced. Throughout the album, there is not one song that has too much bass or an overpowering guitar part. The vocals are clear. It’s apparent that both the producer and Albany Audio’s John Chiara (who recorded and mixed the album) have keen ears and know how to make an album sound fantastic“Radio Warfare,” the second song on A Celebration of Fury, will stand the test of time. Twenty years from now, people will still be listening to it. The lyrics do not have an expiration date. It’s a radio-worthy song and an anthem for the ages. Its hard-edged, haunting vocals by Tim Livingston and jangling distorted guitars by both Terry and bassist Nick Bisanz are not only catchy, but chill-inducing.Many of the songs either address politics or snub the powers that be, including “Powerful Friends,” “Somewhere Tonight in America,” “No Time for Egos” and the title track. With the song “Powerful Friends,” the media and people in the government are being mocked. This song also includes one of the most entertaining guitar solos I’ve ever heard besides Clapton. Just be careful you don’t think the beginning is the end, since it teases you with a wrapping-up sound. “No Time for Egos” also features spectacular drumming by Al Kash, enhancing and driving the song.All in all, the Last Conspirators’ A Celebration of Fury must be considered one of the best local discs of the year. The album was expertly written and produced. And since the songs are so diverse, any person can find at least one or two songs they like. Play it again and again.
Tim Hinley - Dagger ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
Tim Livingston (the vocalist of TLC who wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on here) has been around the scene forever but instead of making his racket in the Big Apple, he’s up in the Hudson Valley where old punks don’t go to die, they go to make more music (his old band The Morons tore up the Albany area back in the day, or so I’ve heard). This band has been around for a decade but have grown slowly and steadily as this is only their 3rd record in that time (2007’s WARPARTY and 2010’s WHEN IT ALL COMES down are the others). Livingston and his crew have definitely heard some Clash records in their lives (and some 101ers, too…Strummers previous band). A CELEBRATION OF FURY only has 7 songs on it but the songs are tough and thick, dense if you will. This isn’t snarling punk rock like The Germs, this is more textured, more cerebral with the songs slowly unfolding. Opening “Last Man Standing” is a perfect opener, laying the groundwork while “Radio Warfare” drags the corpse for a few more blocks and “Powerful Friends” really bites down and grits its teeth (and is my favorite here, along with the melodic “No Time for Egos”). The rest of the songs are all worth hearing as well, my only complaint is that there’s not more songs. Next time guys give us a full baker’s dozen.
Okay, it took me a while to listen to this entire CD because I had to play the first track, “Luther Hamilton Blues,” about ten times in a row. Yeah, it’s that good. A psychedelic tribal vamp evolves into a chanting punk verse before finally blossoming into a glorious pop chorus. Frontman Tim Livingston excels at writing hook-laden, politically charged paeans to pop culture, and his commando team (crackerjack Nippertown music veterans Al Kash on drums, Terry Plunkett on guitar and Jeff Sohn on bass) play it rough and crunchy on the band’s powerhouse sophomore disc. Other standouts include the Clash-like “Who Wants a Revolution Anyway?” and the ferocious, go-for-the-throat, garage-rock rumble of “History,” but there’s not a clunker in the bunch. “Long Live TV” (is this the third song Livingston has written about television?) evokes the ghost of Robert Hazard, while “It’s Late” is a tender and delicate ballad that stacks up the requisite dramatic refrains.Produced by Chris Fisher at his Easter Island Studios in Coxsackie, this 5-song EP – the follow-up to band’s 2007 full-length debut “War Party” – gets pretty close to capturing the energy of their live shows, and if the New York Dolls played sixties psychedelic pop, this is what it would all sound like. Potent stuff.”
Bryan Swirsky - BIG TAKEOVER MAGAZINE ("When It All Comes Down" Review)
"A five-song follow-up to Warparty, this equally potent recording hints these guys are not only are on to something good, they're just getting started. Fronted by Upstate NY punk legend, Tim Livingston (whose credits go back to Killed-By-Death style Albany punks, the Morons), the band fills the same sonic space as the Clash, Adverts, Ruts, Stiff Little Fingers and New Model Army. If you want to know where the real songwriters in punk are this day and age, look no further"
David Greenberger - METROLAND MAGAZINE ("When It All Comes Down" Review)
Susan Rice - Upstate Live Music Guide ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
David Malachowski - The Times Union ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
Kirsten Ferguson - Metroland Magazine ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
Fred Rudofsky - Nippertown "Best Albums of 2013" ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
Metroland Readers Poll 2014 - Best Local Punk Band
Greg Haymes - THE TIMES UNION ("Warparty" Review)
Jeremy Schwartz - CHRONOGRAM MAGAZINE ("When It All Comes Down" Review)
David Malachowski - THE DAILY FREEMAN ("When It All Comes Down" Review)
Michael Eck - THE TIMES UNION ("When It All Comes Down" Review)
“Tim Livingston gets political in a punk rock way on the Last Conspirators' sophomore release, "When It All Comes Down."Tracks like "Luther Hamilton Blues" and "Who Wants a Revolution Anyway" sizzle with old school rock 'n' roll rage, backed by a crack rhythm section and Terry Plunkett's big guitar.With its surf-inflected guitar breaks and pointed lyrical lampooning, "Long Live TV," co-written with bassist Jeff Sohn, conjures a melodic, mellower Dead Kennedys. Best is "It's Late," a ballad about the fears and joys in a long-term relationship. The Last Conspirators are a band with deep roots. 30 years ago, Livingston was vocalist for the pioneering Albany punk band The Morons and his snarl remains intact, even if his topics have matured. Drummer Al Kash was also the motivator behind Fear of Strangers, who created a national buzz long before the good kids in Phantogram were born.Perhaps it's fitting, then, that the brief "When It All Comes Down" ends with "History," the riffing ersatz title track that proclaims "it's too late for the future!"
Jack Rabid - THE BIG TAKEOVER MAGAZINE ("Warparty" Review)
Jeff Jarema - HERE TIS' MAGAZINE ("When It All Comes Down" Review)
Jeff Jarema - HERE TIS' MAGAZINE ("Warparty" Review)
Peter Aaron - CHRONOGRAM MAGAZINE ("Warparty" Review)
Evan Haga - HARP MAGAZINE ("Warparty" Review)
Edwin Letcher - GARAGE & BEAT MAGAZINE ("Warparty" Review)
NIPPERTOWN - Larkfest 2013 Review - "...Featuring gravity-defying frontman Tim Livingston and powerhouse drummer Al Kash (both veterans of the very first LarkFest 32 years ago!), as well as razor-sharp guitarist Terry Plunkett and bassist Nick Bisanz, the band charged through a high-energy sonic assault, railing against corporate radio, mindless nostalgia and the powers that be. The themes may not be anything new, but the band played with the palpable passion of rebellion, adding a new-found metallic edge to their already potent brand of politico psych-punk..."
Greg Haymes - NIPPERTOWN
Paul Rapp - METROLAND MAGAZINE
Kirsten Ferguson - NIPPERTOWN
Mike Guzzo - CRUMBS RADIO
— Matt Mac Haffie, NIPPERTOWN
“Friday night in the city of the dead. It’s too easy to say passion for music is a young man’s game. To fly the flag a long time is a hard thing. Tim Livingston – frontman for the Last Conspirators – continues to burn with the need to generate real rock with a true sense of punk urgency. Pounding out the mid-tempo, well-crafted numbers tempered with maturity yields a Social Distortion-like state of mind. The Last Conspirators are a murderer’s row of musicians. With Al Kash on drums, Terry Plunkett on guitar and Jeff Sohn on bass, they are players who can (along with Livingston) trace their roots to the Units, Names For Numbers and the Morons (a who’s-who of first generation Albany punk).Making one of their all-too-rare public performances...”
Andrew Gregory - CRUMBS Blog Times Union
"This was followed by a set by TL’s current band, The Last Conspirators. Five years on from their first show, the band lineup now includes Nick Bisanz offering bottom-end bass power ala Ronny Wood. Drummer Al Kash always provides a solid and steady crafted backbeat, and innovative guitarist Terry Plunkett seemed on this night to be channeling a mashed-up psychedelic punk combination of Robin Trower and Pete Townshend. Now-classic Con anthems were stapled into a set which also featured several new songs making their debut. As always, TL stalked the club and bar top, at one point emphasizing a point with a near empty water bottle thrown to the floor. But what’s this – a kinder and gentler TL that picks up same bottle from the floor? Naw… sometimes a celebration of fury requires you pick up what has been tossed aside, to refill and return with new recorded commentary on current society ills. Looking forward to that."
Fred Rudofsky - Nippertown
"...the Last Conspirators were already playing full throttle as I entered the ballroom of Michael’s Banquet House, where a large crowd of people danced like it was 1979. The late Joe Strummer would have been proud; I imagined the punk rock warlord raising a Guinness to the band as they tore into originals like “Who Wants a Revolution Anyway” and “History,” the latter beginning with Tim Livingston’s declaration of “Drink to all our futures! Long live J.B. Scott’s!” and then closing out with his microphone stand getting bent in half."
"Led by Capital Region mover and shaker Tim Livingston, the Last Conspirators have lasted a long 5 years, and will play a show at Valentines to remind everyone why.Along with punk (the Morons) pioneer Livingston, the band includes the famed Al Kash (Fear Of Strangers) certainly one of the best drummers from the area, guitarist Terry Plunkett and bass player Nick Bisanz. The band's rough-hewn sound perfectly fits its politically charged fare. The Last Conspirators don't play it safe, but in times like these, no one should.This seems like a big year for the band; not only are they having the fifth anniversary party at Valentine's, they are on the bill for the highly anticipated JB Scott's reunion in May, and there's rumor of a new album soon.But let's hope there will be cake, and that they play "Walking In Hellfire" while the candles are being blown out.The Knyghts of Fuzz will provide an opening set, as well as a Morons tribute set."
Kirsten Ferguson - Nippertown
"...After a quick breather, Stone returned with drummer Al Kash, guitarist Terry Plunkett and new bassist Nick Bisanz to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Last Conspirators.“I started in the Morons in 1978. Here I am still doing this shit,” quipped Stone even though he showed no signs of slowing down during the Conspirators’ primal-energy fueled set, which included several songs from an upcoming album: “No Time for Egos” and the uncommonly positive “Somewhere Tonight."
Michael Eck - Times Union
Review of Mike Watt / Last Conspirators show:
" Tim Livingston’s Last Conspirators opened the show with an inspired set of punk-inspired tunes that fit the tone of the evening well. The band made its own nod to The Who with the thrilling stop-start motion of “A Celebration of the Fury” and the irresistible chorus of
“Last Ones Standing.”
BRIAN MCELHINEY - DAILY GAZETTE:
Review of Mike Watt / Last Conspirators show:
"Hudson Valley stalwarts The Last Conspirators, featuring former Morons and Ghostrunner frontman Tim Livingston, kicked off the night with a raging set of their own, previewing material from their upcoming third album. Livingston brought good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll fury to the stage, hamming it up for the crowd on new highlight “Radio Warfare” and older tracks such as “A Celebration of Fury” and the rollicking “Two Cats in Suits.”
Vinnie Birbiglia - J.B. Scott's
"... the energy that came off the stage was nothing short of fantastic. Your band kicked ass! Thank you for being a part of our reunion!
Kirsten Ferguson - Nippertown
Review of Mike Watt / Last Conspirators show:
"...the Last Conspirators primed the packed crowd with some high-energy, old school punk tunes..."
Chuck Miller - Times Union Blog
"Did I mention that it was a great show last night? The fans showed their support for everyone, from the opening act (Penny Knight Band) to the show-stealing Last Conspirators; to the first performance of the Wildcats since the passing of Ernie Williams; to Alison Jacobs, whose father co-owned JB Scott’s; to Blotto – can’t say enough about enjoying Blotto’s music – to Fear of Strangers (Lonesome Val Haynes can still pack the club floor every night) to the Lazers and the Charlie Smith Blues Band – all told, the fans enjoyed six and a half hours of fantastic music and great performances.!"