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From tightly choreographed blues-soul blowouts to jagged alt-rock collaborations: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Sasami performs at Meadowbrook Music Theatre on May 25, 2022 in Rochester, Michigan
(Image credit: Scott Legato/Getty Images)

Welcome to Guitar World’s weekly roundup of the musical highlights from the, erm, world of guitar. Every seven days (or thereabouts), we endeavor to bring you a selection of songs from across the guitar universe, all with one thing in common: our favorite instrument plays a starring role.

Sasami – Tried To Understand (feat. J Mascis)

What is it? An alternate version of one of the highlights from the singer/songwriter’s impressive sophomore effort, Squeeze, this take on Tried To Understand features some fantastic lead guitar flourishes from Dinosaur Jr. legend J Mascis.

Standout guitar moment: You can’t have Mascis as a guest and not let him have the spotlight for at least a few seconds (that happens towards the end), but his always-exclamatory, deep-into-the-red fills – punctuated by sharp single-note stabs and a bluesy melodic touch  – steal the show here.

For fans of: Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, The Breeders

Jackson Maxwell

Jack & Owane – Glitter

What is it? Contemporary fusion kings Jack Gardiner and Owane have joined forces once more for – deep breath – Guardian Spirits of the Quantum Multiverse, a similarly tongue-in-cheek sequel to previous collaborative epic, Chapter One: Shredemption. Glitter is the latest shining example of their talents, a driving ’80s synth-guitar banger with shades of George Benson and some positively filthy licks.

Standout guitar moment: Gardiner puts his new Ibanez AZ endorsement to good use with some exquisite single-coil runs throughout, but that harmonized section, which dovetails into a series of speedy chromatic passages, is just exquisite. We love Owane’s Satch-esque pentatonic cut ’n’ runs, too.

For fans of: Joe Satriani, Stephen Taranto, Nick Johnston

– Michael Astley-Brown

Lamb of God – Nevermore 

What is it? The lead single from Lamb of God’s ninth studio album Omens, which will arrive on October 7 via Epic Records. Back when the album was teased earlier this week, the band promised it would be “a very pissed-off record” and their “angriest album yet." Well, Nevermore has seemingly delivered the goods in spades, serving up angsty electric jabs aplenty and a wall of pummeling riffage.

Standout guitar moment: It’s four-and-a-half minutes of driving guitars so there’s plenty to choose from, but that pinch harmonic-laden solo at the 3:10 mark takes the prize, thanks to some deliciously assembled phrases.

For fans of: Trivium, Machine Head, Mastodon

– Matt Owen

Jack White – If I Die Tomorrow

What is it? The newest single from Entering Heaven Alive, the second of White’s two 2022 albums, If I Die Tomorrow shows that White’s talents as a crooner of homespun, country-tinged laments are as strong as the madcap, 21st century blues solos that made him famous. 

Standout guitar moment: Though it was fun hearing White let it fly on Fear of the Dawn, the perfectly-executed arpeggios that highlight the minimal but perfect-for-the-proceedings solo on this tune are a reminder that White doesn’t need to be pogoing between octaves with a crazy Jazzmaster to impress. 

For fans of: The Raconteurs, The White Stripes, Wilco

Jackson Maxwell

Parkway Drive – Glitch

What is it? The first new music from Australia’s finest metalcore export in over four years. It came as a surprise to many Parkway Drive fans, after the band recently called off (opens in new tab) their scheduled 2022 US tour later to take time to “grow and return stronger." But they’re back a lot sooner than expected, with a track that retains the same balance of brutality and melodic intrigue as one could find on their last full-length, 2018’s Reverence. With a thumping mid-tempo riff and an anthemic chorus, this one’s sure to get the pit spinning when the band do make their return to the stage.

Standout guitar moment: After almost 20 years in the game, the Byron Bay five-piece still know how to deliver speaker-shaking breakdowns, and they do it to cataclysmic effect on Glitch. Rhythm guitarist Luke Kilpatrick backs up Winston McCall’s to-the-point vocal hook with a similarly simple riff, while lead man Jeff Ling caresses the mix with some wah-flavored squeals on top.

For fans of: Bury Tomorrow, While She Sleeps, August Burns Red

– Sam Roche

Dre DiMura – Polyjuice Potion

What is it? TikTok sensation, DragonForce guest soloist and blindfolded Cliffs of Dover daredevil Dre DiMura’s debut instrumental single, which samples Doja Cat’s 2021 hit Need to Know. It’s not the first time Ms. Cat has unknowingly crossed over into instrumental guitar, but DiMura’s track flips the shred guitar rulebook on its head, laying down dreamy legato and filthy minor-key wrecking-ball riffs over fat 808 beats.

Standout guitar moment: The outrageous sweeps that accompany DiMura’s solo drop at 0:43. The pace doesn’t let up for the rest of the track.

For fans of: Polyphia, Jakub Zytecki, Chon

– Michael Astley-Brown

The Mountain Goats – Training Montage

What is it? The most prolific rockers this side of King Gizzard are back with Bleed Out, a new album inspired by frontman John Darnielle’s hobby of watching pulpy action films as a way to pass time during the lowest days of the pandemic. The Mountain Goats have made a career out of anthems for doomed, unforgettable characters who – by choice or circumstance – find themselves with their backs against the wall, and by the sounds of Training Montage, their cheesy new subject matter fits the band like a glove. 

Standout guitar moment: Multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas has added incredible dimension to the band’s sound onstage and in the studio in recent years, and the six-string soundscape he paints at song’s end – equal parts the world-saving heroism of U2 and the dissonance of the Velvet Underground – gives the song the cinematic scope of a real-life training montage.

For fans of: Death Cab for Cutie, The Hold Steady, The Decemberists

Jackson Maxwell

Pianos Become the Teeth – Genevieve

What is it? The D.C. five-piece have long been a band caught between two posts – post-hardcore and post-rock – and Genevieve is one of the finest distillations of the hybrid sound they’ve been cultivating for the past decade-and-a-half. The fingerpicked arpeggios recall Radiohead in their meditative patterns and ruminative chord extensions, but there’s a hardcore edge that erupts halfway through and sends comparisons packing.

Standout guitar moment: That opening chord progression is an instant must-learn for alt-rockers, and we dig those injections of shimmer reverb as the track breaks apart towards its conclusion.

For fans of: Thrice, Radiohead, La Dispute

– Michael Astley-Brown

Blues Pills – California 

What is it? A reimagining of the Swedish blues soul powerhouses’ 2020 track of the same name, for which they’ve tapped singer Marc Broussard. It’s every bit as blues-y as you’d expect from a band called “Blues Pills," and though the guitar plays second fiddle to the keys for much of the track – minus some nice embellishments and a stunning solo – the six-string’s role is just about dialed in to perfection.

Standout guitar moment: At the 2:08 mark, the guitar picks up from where the piano leaves off, smashing its way through some Strat-y stabs before delivering a tightly choreographed solo that makes its way up and down both the fretboard and the strings with blissful ease.

For fans of: John Mayer, Marcus King, The Dip

– Matt Owen

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Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).