From Blink-182's powerchord-fueled return to eerie psychedelic soul: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Rival Sons' Jay Buchanan (left) and Scott Holiday perform at The Warfield on November 11, 2021 in San Francisco, California
(Image credit: Steve Jennings/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.

What is it? It’s only the first new material from Blink-182 with Tom DeLonge back in the fold for nearly a decade – and arrives ahead of a mammoth world tour. Edging is a mid-tempo bop oddly reminiscent of early noughties UK indie, but with the classic DeLonge/Hoppus vocal pairing and a grab bag of Gibson 335-fueled powerchords.

Standout guitar moment: Those sliding octaves are textbook DeLonge – and it’s a textbook that inspired countless players to pick up the guitar in the first place. It’s good to have him back.

For fans of: Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Angels & Airwaves

– Michael Astley-Brown

Architects – a new moral low ground

What is it? A punishing new single from the British metal heavyweights’ upcoming tenth album, The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit. In the same blistering style as the album’s previously released singles deep fake, tear gas and when we were young, a new moral low ground is brimming with brutal high-gain riffing courtesy of Josh Middleton and Adam Christianson, and Sam Carter’s trademark visceral-yet-uber-catchy vocals.

Standout guitar moment: Middleton’s guitar solo from the 2:47 mark is heavily processed, yet slots itself perfectly into an otherwise chock-a-block arrangement.

For fans of: While She Sleeps, Parkway Drive, Bury Tomorrow

Sam Roche

Rival Sons – Nobody Wants to Die 

What is it? It’s been three long years since Long Beach five-piece Rival Sons released their last album, Feral Roots, but now the Grammy-nominated rock outfit have made their eagerly awaited return with not just news of a new album, but a scorching single to usher in the announcement. It would be cliche to say it's been worth the wait, but the phrase applies: Nobody Wants to Die has enough high-gain riffage and classic rock fretboard throwdowns to more than make up for Rival Sons’ absence.

Standout guitar moment: The instrumental breakdown at the 2:19 mark is a highlight – ushered in via some neat drum fills, the section is crammed with dual guitar lead lines and harmonized action that leads right back into the hair-rising chorus.

For fans of: Led Zeppelin, Greta Van Fleet, Royal Blood.

– Matt Owen

The Arcs – Keep On Dreamin’

What is it? The somewhat surprising return of Black Keys singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach’s garage/psychedelic soul side project. Now a quartet (following the sad, premature passing of multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift in 2018), the band are seemingly primed to deliver another collection of beguiling, eccentric and catchy tunes with their forthcoming album, Electrophonic Chronic, if lead single Keep On Dreamin’ is anything to go by.

Standout guitar moment: Keep On Dreamin' isn’t blues by any means, but even through the song’s trippy gauze and the many effects Auerbach uses to obfuscate his guitar work, you can hear the genre’s influence in his closing solo. The way he makes each note sing, telling a clear, emotional story without taking up too much of your time? You know just where he learned those lessons.

For fans of: The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, The Shins 

Jackson Maxwell

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Carry Me Home

What is it? Eddie may take the crown for guitar standout on Return of the Dream Canteen, but Frusciante’s take on the blues is a close second. Carry Me Home is a rootsy stomper in the vein of early Hendrix – and there are few guitarists better placed to carry Jimi’s torch.

Standout guitar moment: All of Frusciante’s leads are a treat in this context, but that stomping pentatonic riff is simultaneously one of the bluesiest and heaviest Chili Peppers moments committed to tape.

For fans of: Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Albert King

– Michael Astley-Brown

Wunderhorse – Purple 

What is it? After bursting onto the scene with their debut single Teal last September, and amassing a loyal fan base through veritable indie rock belters Leader of the Pack and Butterflies, Wunderhorse quickly made their way onto the radar of many. In fact, their debut album, Cub, has been one of the UK scene’s most anticipated albums of 2022 – a level of hype the three-piece have not just met, but marvelously exceeded. 

Purple is the perfect entry point to the Wunderhorse sonic universe – swimming pools of deliciously dialed-up guitars, infectious lyrics and an overall arrangement that will no doubt be filling arena speakers in the very near future.

Standout guitar moment: That intro riff is what Purple is all about – glass-like arpeggios that teeter on the edge of breaking up, which return throughout the track to instill more dynamic urgency and give listener’s a greater need to sway your head.

For fans of: Circa Waves, The Snuts, Sam Fender

– Matt Owen

Lionheart – Live By The Gun (feat. Ice-T)

What is it? For their latest single, a punchy mid-tempo stomper named Live By The Gun, beatdown hardcore stalwarts Lionheart have recruited Body Count’s Ice-T. The track is driven principally by Walle Etzel and Nik Warner’s gargantuan powerchord-centric riffs, while over the top Ice-T and Lionheart leader Rob Watson trade energetic and rabble-rousing vocal lines.

Standout guitar moment: Lead guitar is shown a little love from the 2:08 mark, when a melodic solo permeates the mix, granting a brief period of respite from the sonic madness.

For fans of: Rise of the Northstar, First Blood, Hatebreed

Sam Roche

Tigercub – The Perfume of Decay 

What is it? Not only does The Perfume of Decay mark Tigercub’s first single of 2022, it also marks their debut track with Loosegroove Records – the same label co-founded by Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard – and what a debut it is. Sounding like Royal Blood if they had been given more guitars and a shot of adrenaline, The Perfume of Decay delivers a riff-a-thon worthy of its title. Those bruising chugs are brutal, with the only reprieve coming from the razor-like leads that scythe their way through the thick wall of gain.

Standout guitar moment: That quirky, fuzzed-up melody that serves as a sonic punctuation mark between phrases and sections is mighty effective – the perfect companion to the wall-rumbling raucous riffs that bubble at the bottom of the mix.

For fans of: Royal Blood, Cleopatrick, Bad Nerves

– Matt Owen

Wild Pink – The Grass Widow In The Glass Window (featuring Yasmin Williams)

What is it? A sprawling, contemplative piano ballad that serves as the latest single from the New York band's new album, ILYSM. With singer/guitarist John Ross busy on piano, he largely outsources guitar duties to none other than on-the-rise acoustic guitar ace Yasmin Williams.

Standout guitar moment: Williams' guitar work – defined, as always, by fleet fingerpicking and bright, beautiful melodies – enters at around the 4 minute mark, and really serves as this song's key ingredient. Williams is phenomenal as a solo, unaccompanied artist, but this charming jam makes us want to hear more of what her enthralling compositions would sound like with the backing of a rhythm section... 

For fans of: The Antlers, Iron & Wine, Bon Iver

Jackson Maxwell

Dry Cleaning – No Decent Shoes for Rain

What is it? No Decent Shoes for Rain shows a more melancholy side to the UK post-punks, with a distinct slacker aesthetic. The heavy vibrato on Tom Dowse’s woozy SG riffs gives the track an uneasy edge, while its contemplative breakdowns traverse previously unexplored territory for the group.

Standout guitar moment: Dowse’s delicate picking and exquisite voicings are most apparent during that lush phased intro, but really come into their own when the overdrive kicks in. Addictive stuff.

For fans of: Pavement, Sonic Youth, IDLES

– Michael Astley-Brown

Tallah – For The Recognition

What is it? Tallah announced their sophomore album, The Generation of Danger, over seven months ago, and after a long wait, it’s very nearly here. There’s a mere month to go – the record is set to drop November 18 – but here’s another sonic tidbit to sink your teeth into in the meantime.

For The Recognition's brutally chaotic Slipknot-style arrangements are loaded with a seemingly never-ending supply of stellar metal guitar riffs, cacophonous rhythm sections and a spine-tingling vocal performance from frontman Justin Bonitz.

Standout guitar moment: To be honest, the entire track is a masterclass in modern metal riffing.

For fans of: Slipknot, Tetrarch, Death Blooms

Billy Strings & Terry Barber – Long Journey Home

What is it? One half of the two-sided lead single from ME/AND/DAD, the forthcoming collaborative album by Strings and his father, fellow guitarist Terry Barber. Long Journey Home is one of the great bluegrass standards, and Strings and Barber couldn’t sound any more at home with it, imbuing the lonesome, melancholy song with the warmth of family and unspoken musical chemistry.

Standout guitar moment: Strings’ first guitar break, starting at 1:07. It’s a bit surprising to not see flames near the soundhole of Strings’ guitar, from the sheer speed of the pickin’.

For fans of: Flatt and Scruggs, Molly Tuttle, Johnny Cash

Jackson Maxwell

The Backseat Lovers – Slowing Down 

What is it? A captivating, five-minute sonic slow-burn from The Backseat Lovers, who are getting ready to drop their second studio album, Waiting To Spill, on October 28. Sometimes, similarly structured songs fail to hold on to listeners’ attention, though Slowing Down has no such issues, with its delicate assembly of twangy background licks, one-time-only ambient soundscapes and reverb-soaked six-string constructions leading to the hair-rising pay off.

Standout guitar moment: Many guitar parts – some subtle, some more apparent – were thrown together for the making of Slowing Down, but when the dynamics reach their boiling point near the endm and the guitar strums start becoming a little more unhinged, Slowing Down really comes into its own.

For fans of: Del Water Gap, Djo, Total Life Forever-era Foals

– Matt Owen

Gojira – Our Time is Now

What is it? A monstrous standalone single from French heavy metallers, Gojira. Political in sentiment, the four-and-a-half-minute track is, as frontman Joe Duplantier explains, aimed at “all the fighters out there sparking a light in a dark world”.

In a statement accompanying the song’s release, Duplantier praises those “in a war defending your inherent rights” – likely referencing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine – as well as those fighting against deforestation. He also stands in solidarity with those protesting for women’s rights in Iran.

The song itself is driven by a weighty electric guitar riff, and true-to-form verse and chorus sections that bear a sense of chaotic grandeur.

Standout guitar moment: Christian Andreu’s solo from the 2:40 mark offers a pleasing injection of lead guitar, with a series of melodic runs and slick pull-off motifs.

For fans of: Meshuggah, Lamb of God, Mastodon

– Sam Roche

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).