Composed of two veterans of the Nottingham scene – emcee Duke01 and DJ Furious P (of Bionic Stylus Crew) – Last Sons are here to tear up the rule book, just don’t expect to kick back and relax with these instrumentals. The frenetic energy of Chekhov’s Gun might be too much for some, but there’s no denying there’s something exciting about musicians pushing boundaries on a scale like this.
The first thing that hits you about Chekhov’s Gun is the sheer chaos of it all. Tracks like ‘Welcome to Corporatonia’ call to mind early Public Enemy, a swirling mix of chopped up samples, frantic scratching and sparse melodies. At times, the sheer pandemonium can drown out the bars – there’s just so much going on. This, you get the impression, is intentional. The world presented by Last Sons is deliberately chaotic; one of leaders with short tempers and even shorter attention spans. That might sound depressing, but the album could be read as a clarion call for sanity.
First single ‘Champions’ is a perfect example. The harpsichord-powered instrumentals combine with stellar bars from Guillotine Crowns and an infectiously uplifting chorus from Barrie McLain to create something lifted right out of an ‘80s action movie montage. Throughout the album, Duke01 excels at balancing the manic instrumentals with a breakneck delivery, with bars that touch on everything from fake news to state censorship.
‘Morphine’ sits on the more traditional side of the hip hop spectrum. The lop-sided refrain of ‘Bright New Yesterday’, meanwhile, gives Duke01 (along with NY rapper and producer Uncommon Nasa) space to pick apart the bullshit nostalgic propaganda relied on by right-wing narratives.
Similar in tone to Mys Diggi’s Tip of da Mysberg, Chekhov’s Gun paints a bleak picture of a world gone mad, overdosing on social media while turning a blind eye to the atrocities unfolding around us. There’s no denying that Last Sons have created an album dizzying in scope – whether you’re ready to face what it has to say is another matter.
Chekhov’s Gun is out now on Uncommon Records.
To purchase on limited edition orange vinyl, grab a CD or download digitally click here.