Fred Mills - Blurt Magazine ( Hold That Thought Forever Album Review) - "When we last checked in on Hudson Valley-area rockers the Last Conspirators, punk-fueled songwriting partners Tim Livingston (vocals) and Nick Bisanz (guitars) were still kicking against the pricks with as much vim, vigor and velocity as Joe Strummer in his Clash heyday, and 2013’s A Celebration of Fury was with a doubt the most appropriately-titled record of that year. The dynamic dup is now back with an equally powerful platter that’s at once more nuanced and sonically textured than its predecessor. Hold That Thought Forever isn’t short of fury, mind you, for “nuanced” doesn’t connote “mellowed out”—far from it.Opening track “Perfect Lovers in a Complicated World” maintains its Ground Zero punk allegiances, bringing to mind a cross between Stiff Little Fingers, Eddie & the Hot Rods, and, yes, The Only Band That Matters. Livingston’s lyrical concerns are exactingly telegraphed in that title, while Bisanz’s concise riffs strike just the right balance between serrated and tuneful, with the deft rhythm section of Al Kash and Mike Grundy turning out to be the song’s—and, as the album unfolds, the band’s—secret weapon. Elsewhere, in the soul/garage epic that is “Addiction,” Livingston outlines a Pandora’s Box of vice, a note of apprehension lining the usual swagger in his voice, as his bandmates circle restlessly behind him before the inevitable build-up and release. And both “Alright” (a snarling, bluesy stomp) and “Blow Away the Sky” (anthemic and rocking, and guaranteed to please your inner Blue Oyster Cult and MC5 fan) maintain a purposeful pace while never forgetting to inject the necessary dynamics at all the right cathartic moments.Livingston has noted that this record’s deliberately less political and more personal than the last one, and that comes through loud and clear. The album’s no less defiant and, in places, caged-animal wounded, though. Sometimes the politics of the heart are the most challenging of all, eh?
Jack Rabid - Big Takeover Magazine ( Hold That Thought Forever Album Review) A lot of lip service is paid to “rock ’n’ roll,” but some people really do have it in their veins, not just on their t-shirts. Tim Livingston has led this Hudson Valley, NY band for four albums starting with 2007’s Warparty, and they’ve got the backbeat, scratchy guitars, and sweaty groove that differentiates detached dilettantes from loving lifers. Beyond a mix of mostly mid-tempo styles, he and co-Conspirator (couldn’t resist that) Nick Bisanz especially succeed when striking a timeless pub rock-ian pose, on the smacking opener “Perfect Lovers in a Complicated World,” manic closer “Look at Me One More Time,” and streamlined “Russian Eyes” and “Fortune Teller”—with the R&B bite of Ducks Deluxe, 101ers, and closer to Albany, New London, CT’s Reducers. Speaking of those 101ers, there’s also plenty of Joe Strummer slur/pep in Livingston’s vocals. That’s a thought he always holds.
Greg Haymes Nippertown (“Hold That Thought Forever” Review) “Produced by Conehead Buddha’s Chris Fisher at his Easter Island Studios in Coxsackie, Hold That Thought Forever is the new line-up’s debut (the band’s fourth release over-all), and all but one of the album’s 11 songs are co-written by frontman Tim Livingston (a veteran of the Morons and Ghostrunner) with Bisanz. And the personnel shifts seem to be reflected in a new direction. With the exception of the potent, chugging “The Truth and a Gun,” the song lyrics eschew the band’s usual political rage in favor of more personal examinations of passion. Affairs of the heart, desire and obsession (especially on “1302,” “Tracks” and the slinky “Addiction”) have moved to the foreground.And musically, the new album finds the band leaning toward a more mainstream rock approach, beginning with the opening power-pop romp through “Perfect Lovers in a Complicated World.” The new wave-ish “Fortune Teller” starts out on a vibe reminiscent of Split Enz’s “I Got You” and finds Livingston turning in some Tom Petty-like vocal stylings.Which is not to say that the Last Cons don’t go for the throat. Livingston spits out his caustic vocals on the fuzz-busted “Alright” with deadly venom. And the album closes out with “Look at Me One More Time” – the most explosive rocker on the disc – even as Livingston lets loose his inner poet with spoken word sections over a churning hot-bed of raging guitars, drummer Al Kash’s brutal pounding and a squall of ghostly feedback.”
Howe Glassman WEXT 97.7FM - (“Hold That Thought Forever” Review) "…straddling the line between punk-poetry and deep soul-searching.. powerful stuff.. the band known on past releases for their balls to the wall punk, have found a way, with this their fourth album, to take it to another level.. a lot of diversity on this album.. that they should be proud of it.. a very, very good record and a strong contender, in this the early stages of 2016, for local album of the year!"
Bryan David Lasky - NYS Music (Hold That Thought Forever Album Review) - "The Last Conspirators just released fourth album Hold That Thought Forever moves the band into new territory. While past releases’ lyrics have dealt with politics and the feelings towards how things have been moving along in the country, this album showcases a more personal side of the band. To go along with the lyric change, the music has also been toned down at times from the punk rock aesthetic known by their fans. The changes are welcomed and it is great to hear the band try something different and succeed.“Addiction” is one of the darkest songs on the record and the funk bass line that it follows goes right along with the subject material, taking the listener into the depths of what addiction can be. “1302” is the first track on the album to have the band start to rock behind Tim Livingston’s lyrics and constantly builds until the end when a fury of music takes over the proceedings and joins the voice in bringing the song to a fiery end.“Two Days in May” is one of the tracks on the album that finds The Last Conspirators trying something new. The chorus almost comes out of an early Bruce Springsteen song when you could hear him and Steven Van Zandt harmonize with one another. The fact that The Last Conspirators have gone for a more eclectic sound on this record shows how many bands truly influence them as a unit and brings the history of music to the fore front as they continue to push on withnew tunes.he song “Tracks” bring the punk attitude back, with Tim spitting the lyrics and Nick Bisanz laying down some dirty grungy guitar licks that would fit right in on an old Patti Smith record. “Alright” is great rocker with Mike Grundy and Al Kash constantly moving the song along with their fantastic bass and drum playing on what is sure to a great song to see liveWhile most of the record isn’t political, “Truth and a Gun” hits the mark perfectly, especially with how crazy gun violence is gotten in the past year. The song easily makes clear which side of the argument the band is on and ends in a blaze of guitar work by Bisanz. Being a local Albany band, they may not get out of the state to play, but if you’re close enough they definitely are worth checking out. In the live setting their songs get you moving and thinking and this record does the same. Hopefully the band can keep the creative juices flowing and give us another collection of music soon.Key Tracks: Addiciton, Tracks, Truth and a Gun.
Tim Hinley Dagger Zine ("Hold That Thought Forever " Review.) ".and here is LP number four from this NY state band who have only been around for a decade or so but vocalist Tim Livingston has been around the Hudson Valley scene forever (apparently he showed John Quincy Adams how to make his hair into a mohawk). Their previous lp, 2013’s A Celebration of Fury was damn good, but I like this one more. Lyrically it’s a lot less political than their previous records, a more personal affair and most of the cuts were co-written by Livingston and guitarist Nick Bisanz (Al Kash is still on drums and they have a new bassist in Mike Grundy). Opening cut “Perfect Lovers in a Complicated World” is a terrific, driving opener (Clash influence for sure) while moodier/darker cuts like “1302” and “Two Days in May” toss in minor chords, but have a dark edge that sucks you in. Elsewhere, “Russian Eyes” is a hooky cut while “The Truth and a Gun” is the one cut where they put their political hat on and add some boogie guitar (not my favorite here) and “Fortune Teller” chucks in a new wave influence (think The Cars) and will get your toe tappin’. I like the direction these guys are going in and who knows, maybe LP #5 will be here before the end of the year (back in the studio, guys)."
Alan Haber Pure pop Radio (“Hold That Thought Forever” Album Review) “New York State pop-rockers The Last Conspirators’s fourth album takes charge with muscular songs, written by singer Tim Livingston and guitarist Nick Bisanz, that demand attention. We’re playing four tracks in rotation, all surging with crunchy guitars, great hooks and Livingston’s urgent vocals: “Perfect Lovers in a Complicated World,” “Fortune Teller,” “Russian Eyes,” and “Two Days in May,” a powerful ballad. Now playing in rotation and thrilling music lovers worldwide.”
Jon Hunt Le Toile Magazine (Hold That Thought Forever Review) "...Meanwhile, across the country, Conspirators /vocalist Tim Livingston used to front a rather nifty Albany punk band called The Morons who had a killer single called “Suburbanite” that was one of those organ-fueled adrenaline blasts that could only have come out of 1981 (and never quite made it huge). His modern band the Last Conspirators continue to burn the punk flame, and Hold That Thought Forever sounds like it could have come out two or three after their debut single — it’s not as whipass a strain of punk (well, not as fast, anyway) but it’s definitely in the slightly more sophisticated punk wheelhouse also occupied by Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros albums (and still neatly retro the way you want it to be). Plenty of killer songs that are still very much in a super-cool punk-veering-into-rock mode — opener “Perfect Lovers in a Complicated World” is straight-up punk single sweetness, “The Truth and a Gun” is about as garage as you can possibly get, “Blow Away the Sky” is one of those Clash-y fist-raised anthems that you look for on albums like this. I also love the groovy “Addiction,” the tense-as-hell “1302” and the fuzzy/swingin’ “Alright.” If you dig tapping into the main vein of rock and roll — and you should, because it’s the absolute real deal, folks — and you’re a fan of our own regional punk heroes, I cannot imagine you wouldn’t love a brief flirtation with the East Coast version of same. Rock on.
Doug Sheppard Ugly Things Magazine (Hold That Thought Forever Review) "Like that spicy curry sauce you can’t duplicate at home, this Albany, New York band seasons its music with myriad influences to produce a sound that upholds the “rock” side of the alternative rock equation. This recalls latter-day Neil Young, with a unique poetic angle to the lyrics that’s best exhibited on “Alright,” “Addiction” and “Russian Eyes.
Johnny Hayward Uber Rock (Hold That Thought Forever album review) - “The Last Conspirators, a band who like tocall themselves a powerful rock ‘n’roll band,” but there isactually a hell of a lot more to them than just power. You see the eleven tracks contained on ‘Hold That Thought Forever’ .. slowly but surely worm their way into your subconscious so that all of a sudden you’ll find yourself humming the likes of ‘Russian Eyes’ (perhaps the most immediate track on this album) and album opener ‘Perfect Lovers In A Complicated World’ without even realizing it. And therein lies this album’s true appeal. It’s a real grower. Sonically the band sit somewhere between British garage rock err Godfathers, The Godfathers, glunk rock pirate king and master storyteller Tyla J Pallas and the earlier Twin/Tone days of The Replacements, and what The Last Conspirators do, they do very well indeed. Just take ‘The Truth And A Gun’ for example. Here the band sound locked and loaded and truly firing on all six, whilst ‘Alright’ adds an early Alice Cooper twist to proceedings… a hugely enjoyable record and with tracks as cool as ‘Fortune Teller’ and ‘Blow Away The Sky’ oozing into your psyche you too will soon find yourself humming along in the car and wondering just what the hell it is you are humming. That’s because The Last Conspirators play rock ‘n’ roll that makes you think, their charm a truly subtle one…”
Jeremy Schwartz Chronogram Magazine (Hold That Thought Forever Album Review) - “For nearly a decade on the regional music scene, the sole constant in the Last Conspirators' lineup has been front man Tim Livingston. Active at ground zero of the Albany punk rock scene of the early 1980s, Livingston has carried on writing and singing heart-on-the-sleeve rebel music in the intervening decades. On this release, the band's fourth, Livingston shares the songwriting responsibilities with Poughkeepsie native Nick Bisanz (guitar, bass, vocals). Abetted by the rhythm section of Mike Grundy (bass) and Ken Marchesani (drums), this latest batch of songs expands the band's sound palette. A pounding hard rock vein infuses the swaggering "Blow Away the Sky," with Livingston's defiant vocals punctuated by the reverbed riffs and arpeggios emanating from Bisanz's guitar. In the past, the Last Cons' music has often grappled with societal injustice and malaise. In contrast, the songs on Hold That Thought Forever, while retaining the same focused commitment, are much more about the politics of the heart. The shimmering psychedelic drone of "1302" has a wired intensity, highlighted by hooky keyboard flourishes and a forward-looking lyrical theme. "I left the past behind the moment I shut the door / I knew from that point on didn't need it anymore," sings Livingston. The brooding "Addiction" is built on a skeletal riff, smoldering vocal, and a watery, Claptonesque guitar solo. While the band doesn't renounce its previous sound quite so adamantly, the record feels like an exciting step into the future.”
Dave Renegade / Dark Heart of Camden Radio Show on TBFM Internet Radio in the UK - "What a great band I really need to see them live! Just excellent"
Joe Belock WFMU The Three Chord Monte Show - These rock and roll rebels without a pause are back and better than ever. Hold That Thought Forever is their most varied set to date while keeping the intensity level where it belongs - in the red!"
Jeff Jarema (DJ / Music Historian) - "Digging it from beginning to end… but that said, gotta say probably the best song of all is the opener, "Perfect Lovers in a Complicated World". By now, the Last Conspirators are beyond having to be compared with this group or that group. Yet that one sounds like a classic Clash song, somewhere between 'Give 'Em Enough Rope' and 'London Calling'… "
Andy Gregory WEXT - ”Alright, so Albany band The Last Conspirators are known for their politically charged punk rock anthems. Their new album, Hold That Thought Forever, sees a shift with a new lineup to exploring shades of passion with no less an edge."
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.”
Jeff Jarema (DJ / Music Historian) - "Digging it from beginning to end… but that said, gotta say probably the best song of all is the opener, "Perfect Lovers in a Complicated World". By now, the Last Conspirators are beyond having to be compared with this group or that group. Yet that one sounds like a classic Clash song, somewhere between 'Give 'Em Enough Rope' and 'London Calling'… "
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."
Allison Gregory - Nippertown ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
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.
Sara Ayers - NIPPERTOWN ("When It All Comes Down" Review)
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)
METROLAND MAGAZINE BEST LOCAL RECORDINGS 2010
“Tim Livingston’s quartet have pulled off a rare balancing act. The sociopolitical character of his songs are given such confidently forceful flight by the taut guitar-bass-drums that the music is not a backing track to broadsides, but its beating heart equal. It’s also a well-known fact that if you don’t have a good drummer you might as well stay home, and in Al Kash, the Last Conspirators have a great one.”
Susan Rice - Upstate Live Music Guide ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
Upstate New York’s bad boys, The Last Conspirators have released their third album A Celebration of Fury, a follow up to their critically acclaimed Warparty and When It All Comes Down releases. The punk rock and rollers are set to perform at this year’s Larkfest in Albany, the state’s largest one day street fair. Songwriter and front man Tim Livingston performed at the very first Larkfest with his pioneering Albany punk band, The Morons, and still continues to keep the edgy grunge scene alive today.
A Celebration of Fury consists of seven songs that get you amped up and angry, encouraging you to embrace the frustration that everyone can relate to in today’s world. It’s a wake up to society, giving the people a voice and relaying the message that “United We Stand”. The album goes through the multiple emotional levels of rebellion and protest, with powerful lyrics that make you question authority and classic punk angst that can start mosh pits in any location. The Last Conspirators have broken their silence and have encourage a musical political revolution, reminding the listener that they have the power for change. Their new album will be available for sale at Larkfest or on Compact Disc and as Digital Downloads from CD Baby, and also digitally on iTunes and Amazon. “Last Ones Standing” bring the listener back to their youth with lyrics full of wild rebellion and asks you to remember what it was we were rebelling against in the first place. Al Kash has a pounding drum rhythm that gets the heart racing and fired up. “Radio Warfare” has a desperado/outlaw feel from Terry Plunkett’s sliding and strumming steady guitar chords. “Powerful Friends” has echoing cymbals and long lasting guitar riffs with Livingston singing about how change can happen but in the end, it’s all about who you know. “Somewhere Tonight in America” has the classic American defiant rock groove that people of any decade can relate to. “No Time For Egos” has Livingston reminding the listener that we might not like each other, but it’s time to put our differences behind us and do what’s best for our future with lyrics such as, “divide and conquer we shall fall, stand our ground together with our backs against the wall.” “Desperate Skies” is one of the darker punk songs on the album with deep bass playing from Bisanz and for the first time lyrics of loneliness. Throughout the album, there is a theme for the masses to join together for change, but it is in this song that we hear words of personal desperation and fear. The last song, “A Celebration of Fury” has a dramatic ending of harsh whispers and heavy drum beats with the repeating line, “Time to celebrate the fury of our power.”
David Malachowski - The Times Union ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
'Celebration' Revels in the Spirit of Loud, Blistering Rock
The Albany-based band The Last Conspirators always have something to say. And they say it loudly. And with conviction. Their new release, "A Celebration of Fury," is no exception. The band features longtime Capital Region mover and shaker Tim Livingston (head instigator in the Morons during Albany's rock heyday of the late '70s and early '80s), as well as drum giant Al Kash, guitarist Terry Plunkett and bass man Nick Bisanz. Singer-songwriter Livingston states his case in the anxious, angular "Last Ones Standing," as he is among those. The unpolished sound and Livingston's monotone ranting just add to the authenticity, while Kash anchors a rock-solid groove that few could match. That formula works well throughout the seven fiery tracks; other standouts include "Radio Warfare" (which recalls early Eric Burdon), the controlled chaos of "Powerful Friends," and the Ray Davies-sounding "Desperate Skies." Livingston and crew steadfastly refuse to get old, mellow and fade away, and are all the better for it. Music to shake your fist to, and maybe even get out of your comfort zone. That's real rock. Right?"
Kirsten Ferguson - Metroland Magazine ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
A red, shadowy mob shrouds the cover of A Celebration of Fury, the third album from Capital Region old-school punk rockers the Last Conspirators—but the figures on the cover look more like casual spectators surrounding a bonfire or staring into the distance at the radioactive halo from a nuclear detonation. The seven songs of ferocious protest punk on the album are far from passive, though; they’re more like a call-to-arms from a pitchfork-wielding yet morally righteous gang. “Radio Warfare” is a dark, rumbling anti-corporate warning shot fired from the underground, while the rollicking, pub-rocking “Somewhere Tonight in America” has a more ironic take on disenfranchisement in the U.S.A. “No Time for Egos” is a rallying call for scene unity, and title track “A Celebration of Fury” comes at the very end, wrapping up the potent album with a slogan-fueled anthem of empowerment for the rock and roll revolution."
Fred Rudofsky - Nippertown "Best Albums of 2013" ("A Celebration of Fury" Review)
"13.) THE LAST CONSPIRATORS: Celebration of Fury (Driving Rain Music) Pitched somewhere between an EP and an LP, the latest seven songs from these local heroes hit the spot. The opening “Last Ones Standing” features a powerful vocal by Tim Livingston and looks unflinchingly at how age all too often quells youthful idealism in many. “Radio Warfare,” with Nick Basanz on eerie bass, sounds like a lost gem by the Clash; “Powerful Friends,” anchored by stellar drums from Al Kash and boisterous guitar by Terry Plunkett, offers a sardonic series of platitudes about those who thrive because of nepotism.
Metroland Readers Poll 2015 - Best Local Punk Band
#1. The Last Conspirators - "Hard touring old-school punk-rock band the Last Conspirators seriously rocked the vote."
Metroland Readers Poll 2014 - Best Local Punk Band
#1. The Last Conspirators - "Frontman Tim Livingston is a punk road warrior, and his psych-tinged quartet have more than made an impact on the region."
Greg Haymes - THE TIMES UNION ("Warparty" Review)
THE TIMES UNION BEST CDS OF 2007
The Last Conspirators WARPARTY (Driving Rain) - " The most potent politically charged disc of the year, walking the tightrope between punk passion and polished professionalism."“Tim Livingston, the lead singer and dynamic frontman who formed the Morons while still a teen, is leaping back into the spotlight with a new band, the Last Conspirators. Featuring 10 sharp, original tunes from Livingston, "Warparty" is a ferocious album, brimming with barbed, political protest anthems, set to a surprisingly varied musical attack by guitarist Terry Plunkett, drummer Al Kash and bassist Jeff Sohn. The high energy of Livingston's punk days is still there for all to hear, but now there's more -- echoes of the New York Dolls, Little Steven, even Neil Young's Crazy Horse. “Rock 'n' roll keeps on rockin'.”
Jeremy Schwartz - CHRONOGRAM MAGAZINE ("When It All Comes Down" Review)
“Following up on their 2007 debut long player, Warparty, Albany’s Last Conspirators have unleashed another shot across the bow of a too-often-complacent rock soundscape. The songs evince an unshaken belief in the punk-rock ethic, starting with the all-in, soulful commitment of front man Tim Livingston’s vocals. Although the defiance of songs such as “History” and “Who Wants a Revolution Anyway” is present and correct, the music is anything but punk-by-numbers agitprop. The line-up of Livingston, bassist Jeff Sohn, guitarist Terry Plunkett, and drummer Al Kash is a vibrant testimonial of the Capital District’s close-knit but eclectic scene. The Conspirator’s sonic DNA is encoded with elements of glam, post-punk, psychedelia, and roots-rock. “Luther Hamilton’s Blues” struts forth on a bedrock rhythmic foundation, then layers on guitar fanfare that is by turns fractured and plangent before Livingston turns the lyric of a personal quest into a parable of a nation’s search to restore its collective mojo, underscored with Iggy-style primal howling. These recordings possess an immediacy that hints at the band’s infrequent but powerful live performances. Sure, the amps are cranked up really high, but the dynamic arrangements are the real payoff for the listener. “History” begins with anthemic guitar scrubbing, propelled by a hook-laden bass line before Plunkett launches the band to the stratosphere and back, pausing with Livingston cutting through the onslaught with an impassioned cry of “It’s too late for the future!” It’s never too late for music with this much craft and heart.”
David Malachowski - THE DAILY FREEMAN ("When It All Comes Down" Review)
“Produced by Chris Fisher (Conehead Budda) at Easter Island Studios, The Last Conspirators’ “When It All Comes Down” is the follow-up to the band’s recent “Warparty,” and it continues with its rocking apocalyptic themes. The Hudson Valley-based band features leader Tim Livingston on vocals, the venerable Al Kash (Savoy Brown, Commander Cody) on drums, Terry Plunkett on guitar and Jeff Sohn on bass. From the ominous “Luther Hamilton Blues,” facetious (we hope) “Long Live TV” (powered by a dreamy surf guitar and impassioned vocal) and the revolutionary taking inventory rant of “Who Wants A Revolution Anyway,” the Last Conspirators rock — and rock hard. There’s a sense of history here, a tip of that hat to what came before, but a firm, non-nostalgic acknowledgement of where we are now, which is needed and appreciated. Real rock for real people.”
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!"
Tim Hinley - DAGGER 'ZINE ("Warparty" Review)
“Upstate NY band led by Tim Livingston on vocals. They seem to take influence from several UK bands (The Clash, The Adverts, The Ruts, etc.) and add the needed passion (and hooks) to make this one a winner.”THE LAST CONSPIRATORS- WARPARTY- DRM- this band is led by former Morons vocalist (and Sundazed Records employee) Tim Livingston. He’s been on the scene forever and you can tell as the 10 songs on WARPARTY range from gutsy punk to more jagged post punk to more bluesy/psych (“American Son” sounds like it could of been a Love cover) while “Crash” slinks into elements of dub. This was released in 2007 but regardless, a fine, fine listen."
Jack Rabid - THE BIG TAKEOVER MAGAZINE ("Warparty" Review)
"Frontman Tim Livingston was an original '70s punk, leading Albany's Morons when that was brave down on the Bowery - never mind the Hudson Valley. You can deduce his age (and likely his three band mates) but you'd detect little vestige on WARPARTY. Maybe because he hasn't made an LP in 15 years (Since GHOSTRUNNER's lone Beneath the Apocalyptic Rain), or because he works at valuable '60's reissue label Sundazed - but the appetite remains for a variety of styles replete with political awareness. Reviewers flail at pinning this down, raining comparisons from Voidoids, and the Flesheaters, to the Jam, later Clash, Love and New Model Army. I hear Love, '60's blues rock balladry, ballsy post-punk mashers like 80's Australians, and dexterous guitars that prove ballast for Livingston's burning convictions like "American Son" and our in-foerclosure U.S. of "Innocent"."
Jeff Jarema - HERE TIS' MAGAZINE ("When It All Comes Down" Review)
"When It All Comes Down’ is the EP-length latest from New York’s Last Conspirators. That title is lifted from the closing track, “History”, which happens to be one of my fave guitar raves at the moment. Frontman Tim Livingston is in typically fiery form, howling ‘oh sh*t’-provoking proclamations like, “It’s too late for the future.” Livingston’s not so easy to upstage but on this track, his Co-Conspirators just might’ve pulled it off, especially guitarist Terry Plunkett. This guitarist has got style, cranking out the kinda chaotic solo that in another time might’ve left even Robert Quine scratching his head. Sometimes it’s the details that count. There’s a moment in “History”, precisely at the 26 second mark, where this flashy bastard gives the wah wah treatment to exactly one chord. If James Williamson came up with something this economically cool (of course, he still might), I’d be hailing it performance of the year."
Jeff Jarema - HERE TIS' MAGAZINE ("Warparty" Review)
"On the Last Conspirators new CD, 'Warparty', the unflappably laid-back Tim Livingston sounds like he's unraveling a little; conjuring up a more deranged version of Mick Jones of the Clash. Trust me, that's a good thing, as are tunes like the mid-seventies CBGB's folk-rock of "American Son", the spacy guitar psychedelics of "Help", plus the ripping "Tribulation Blues" which recalls vintage Richard Hell & the Voidoids. And when's the last time you heard a song that reminded you of Arthur Lee's "Message to Pretty"? The title track does just that, at least to these ears. Best of all is "Crash". Other than the unavoidable reality that it's on a tiny Upstate NY indie with no distribution, this song has got hit written all over it. "
Peter Aaron - CHRONOGRAM MAGAZINE ("Warparty" Review)
“Longtime local scenesters will probably know Last Conspirators main man Tim Livingston. From 1979 to 1982 he fronted pioneering Capital Region punk outfit The Morons, which regularly held court to pogoing throngs at clubs like Bogie’s and the Chateau Lounge and shared bills with top draws like The Cramps, The Stranglers, and, of course, Blotto. After The Morons burned out, Livingston returned with another project, Ghostrunner, which released one album, 1993’s Beneath the Apocalyptic Rain, before calling it quits.But, as they say, you can’t keep a good man down. Nearly 15 years later, Livingston is back with The Last Conspirators, a quartet that brings a welcome, Information Age crunch to the tough, melodic sounds of late ’70s/early ’80s Brit-punk; think The Clash, The Jam, maybe The Ruts or the UK Subs, but with slightly glossier production values and lyrics that take shots at the soul-sucking, high-tech Noughties. (Check out “Crash,” brimming with grinding guitars and Livingston’s hoarse, desperate vocals; or “Walking in Hellfire,” a moody tour de force highlighted by some sweltering guitar leads.) Warparty, however, isn’t just one rocker after another. The disc also features a handful of protest ballads, Dylan- and Arthur Lee-influenced tracks like the title cut and “American Son,” a commentary on suburban alienation."
Evan Haga - HARP MAGAZINE ("Warparty" Review)
“Like Mike Ness or Iron Cross’ Sab Grey, onetime Morons frontman Tim Livingston has settled into punk-rock middleagedom : still capable of the two-minute flame-thrower, but also digging roots rock, harmonicas and the mid-tempo in general, with political insight you just don’t have when you are 19. Warparty is an album of torch songs and patriotic protest tunes - think American Oi! with out the hooligan tomfoolery - performed in a hodgepodge of styles: There’s OG, Clash-ish punk rock, a John Cougar-Springsteen hybrid, artier 70’s guitar rock and even a beach-party jam. Livingston’s words can be incisive and poetic, as on Warparty (“Last night in an enemy village/They treated us like guests/ They fed us with compassion/We burned it when we left” ) ... Overall an engaging album.”
Edwin Letcher - GARAGE & BEAT MAGAZINE ("Warparty" Review)
‘One of my fondest memories of visiting New York for one of the mondo sixties blow out shows was meeting Tim Livingston while he was manning the Sundazed Music merch table. I was never aware of his punk outfit from "the day," The Morons, but I like this latest group. The sound here is straight ahead rock and roll with an eccentric vocal edge. Tim sings and writes all his material. The Last Conspirators remind me a bit of Richard Hell and The Voidoids, Saccharine Trust and The Flesheaters. Tim sings passionately about war, alienation and life in a crazy world. Fellow Sundazed rock god Bob Irwin mastered the tracks and lent guitar duties on one track, "Walking in Hellfire." Music is in Tim's blood and he brings a wealth of influences to his songs. '60s psychedelia and '70s punk rage permeate this eclectic mix of angst rattled modern rock.
NIPPERTOWN - Gene Sennes Best Concerts of 2014 - The Last Conspirators @ the Low Beat, Albany Punk Rock, baby! Nobody has more passion or jumps higher than Tim Livingston. You’d jump too if you had Al Kash pounding drums behind you. That cat is a monster
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
"Led by hyperactive frontman Tim Livingston, the Last Conspirators kicked off the evening with a blistering hour-long opening set that was highlighted by a big batch of songs from their upcoming third album, A Celebration of Fury, which takes a hard look at the decay of the American Dream. Among the highlights of the new material were the anthemic “Radio Warfare” (doubling as the name of Livingston’s monthly radio show on WGXC 90.7FM), the primal stomp of “Desperate Skies” and especially “Last Ones Standing” (an unflinching look back at the failings of the punk rock revolution).The band – drummer Al Kash, guitarist Terry Plunkett and bassist Nick Bisanz – powered through the set with a new-found, just-out-of-the-studio, laser-sharp focus and a heavier than usual attack that was most potent on the metalesque assault of the upcoming album’s title track. And Livingston – a frontman who has yet to find a stage that can contain him – took the attack directly to the people, stalking his way through the crowd during the dub-like spoken-word section of “Crash” and recklessly leaping onto a table to hang ten during “Surf Rocket.If this is how summer starts, I can’t wait to see how it ends. Or better still, maybe this will be the endless summer
Paul Rapp - METROLAND MAGAZINE
(Shonen Knife w/ The Last Conspirators) “Local vets the Last Conspirators opened the show in grand style, pumping out rock-solid songs over the humungous beat of Al Kash, the nuanced psychedelic slinkiness of my new favorite guitarist Terry Plunkett, and, of course, the boundless voltage of the irrepressible Tim Livingston."
Kirsten Ferguson - NIPPERTOWN
Shonen Knife w/ The Last Conspirators) “Sign me up for the Tim Livingston punk-rock workout video. The magnetic frontman of Albany’s Last Conspirators frog-hopped up and down during “Tribulation Blues,” sank down to his haunches to belt the semi-ironic “Long Live TV,” and stalked energetically about the stage while drummer Al Kash, guitarist Terry Plunkett and bassist Nick Bisanz bashed out a set of straight-up, old school rockers.”
Mike Guzzo - CRUMBS RADIO
“The power, the raw energy, the passion. This was one of the most honest shows I have seen in a long time. Keeping true to their 80’s punk soul, The Last Conspirators, led by Tim Livingston, belted out some killer songs and often seen trying to bust out of the relatively small stage for such a band. At one point he vaulted over the stage rail, got in the face of the crowd with his direct lyrics, and didn’t back down. This episode was recorded at Larkfest ’07. The band was first in a long line up of bands to go on. Even though they started at 11:00 am they still managed to generate a healthy crowd. It must have been the power, the raw energy, and the passion of the music."
— 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.”
Times Union review of last night's 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.”"Read the whole review of MIke Watt's incredible set here:http://blog.timesunion.com/localarts/mike-watt-valentines-101812/25192/ Times Union review of last night's 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.”"
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.!"