The Last Conspirators


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Tim Livingston is a local legend in Albany, NY as the former frontman with first generation punks the Morons, and in the 21st century he's still in the game with his new band the Last Conspirators. Unfortunately, there's a certain degree of naiveté and overstated emotion that's appropriate in a teenager but sounds a bit silly coming from a middle-aged man, and that attitude is all over the Last Conspirators' debut album, Warparty. As hard as Livingston tries to bring his tales of digital age delinquents ("Crash"), disaffected loners ("Lee Harvey Oswald") and lovers on the outs ("Walking in Hellfire") to life, his wobbly, Richard Hell-meets-Tom Verlaine vocals force his lyrics to bear more weight than they can stand, and much of the time his performances sound mildly preposterous. Livingston's musical partners -- Terry Plunkett on guitar, Jeff Sohn on bass, and Al Kash on drums -- don't always rock hard enough to match his vocal gesticulations, though the music is solid in a spare, roots-influenced style, and there are a few moments where the pieces fall into place and Warparty briefly makes good on its ambitions, most notably the soldier's story of the title tune and the fast, lean punk roar of the closer "Two Cats in Suits." For the most part, though, the Last Conspirators have plenty to say but don't have the moves to make their messages work on this disc; hopefully they'll have their formula worked out better the next time they head into the studio.

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