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CD Review: The Last Conspirators

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Driving Rain Music, 2007

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. Though The Last Conspirators formed as a studio-only enterprise, the group headlined a release party for the record in March. Does this mean there may be more gigs to come? See this month’s Nightlife Highlights, or visit www.DrivingRainMusic.com.

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