CD: The Last Conspirators’ “When It All Comes Down”

(Driving Rain Music, 2010)

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.

The Last Conspirators: “When It All Comes Down”

  1. Alan Beberwyck says

    Thanks for the review. I’m really digging “When it all comes down” for its great songs (three of my five favorite Conspirators’ songs), solid musicianship and crisp production. As I read this review, the song “Tribulation Blues” from the Last Conspirator’s first album came up on my iTunes DJ set list, and while it’s still one of my favorites, it lacks the feel of a live show that the new disc captures so well. “When it all comes down” is immediate, urgent, and honest.

  2. KIte40 says

    completely agree! impossible to pick a favorite, they are all so good
    fingers crossed for more live Last Cons shows this summer

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