From evocative standards to the missing link between Dokken and Nine Inch Nails: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Taj Mahal performs onstage during the Experience Hendrix concert at City National Grove of Anaheim on October 9, 2019 in Anaheim, California
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/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.

The Banishment – Got What You Wanted

What is it? We never knew we needed the missing link between Dokken and Nine Inch Nails, but this new industrial outfit from George Lynch, programmer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Haze and vocalist Devix Szell is a surprisingly potent collaboration. It’s invigorating to see Lynch in eerie soundscape mode, but contrary to the track’s strong nu-metal vibes, there is a solo… and it’s an absolute firecracker.

Standout guitar moment: Remember that solo we mentioned 11 words ago? Lynch erupts with a torrent of three-note-per-string legato licks, followed by Grand Canyon-wide bends, tapped slides and feel-driven pentatonics. It’s a very different musical landscape for the shredder to traverse, but he adapts his style with aplomb.

For fans of: Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Envy of None

– Michael Astley-Brown

Last in Line – Ghost Town

What is it? The latest single from hard-rock supergroup Last in Line, which boasts the musical expertise of Def Leppard’s Vivian Campell, former Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice, ex-Ozzy Osbourne bassist Phil Soussan and frontman Andrew Freeman. On paper, that’s a recipe for a Damn Good Song, and that’s precisely what Ghost Town is – a moody, four-and-a-half minute guitar throwdown loaded with neat octave work, dense guitar soundscapes and a pummeling solo.

Standout guitar moment: It’s got to be Campbell’s solo, which explodes into action following a brief interlude of total silence. Filled with rapid-fire tap lines, wailing pinch harmonics and bounty of ‘board-breaking bends, it’s sure to quench your thirst for six-string pyrotechnics.

For fans of: Def Leppard, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath 

– Matt Owen

Taj Mahal – Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You

What is it? The lead single from Savoy, the legendary bluesman’s forthcoming album of standards. Like the other tunes on the album, Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You is a song Mahal grew up with, one as familiar to him as family. His arrangement of it is unhurried, and imbued with that same sense of warmth and familiarity.

Standout guitar moment: With comfortable material and absolutely nothing to prove to anyone, Mahal moves through this slow waltz with elegance. His easy-swaying licks in the song’s first 30 seconds – before the horns and his vocals kick in – are an absolute masterclass in dynamics and phrasing. This song is evidently full of memories for Mahal, and in those beautiful opening statements, he brings them vividly to life.

For fans of: Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Tom Waits

– Jackson Maxwell

Metallica – Screaming Suicide

What is it? The second single from Metallica’s highly anticipated 11th studio album, 72 Seasons, Screaming Suicide finds the thrash metal titans offering up the same blend of gut-punching riffs and wah-heavy leads that’s propelled their career into the stratosphere the past four decades. But hey, why fix something that ain’t broke? 

With a similar production aesthetic to their previous two albums, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct and Death Magnetic, but taking stylistic cues from debut Kill ‘Em All, Screaming Suicide is yet another Metallica knockout.

Standout guitar moment: Screaming Suicide’s guitar solo is markedly less blistering than that of previous single Lux Æterna, but displays Hammett’s ability to offer a more melodic lead in some style.

For fans of: Megadeth, Slayer, Motörhead

Sam Roche

Rival Sons – Rapture 

What is it? Last October, Rival Sons announced their first album since 2019's Feral Roots, and ushered in the news with its raucous lead single. Now, three months later, the Long Beach five-piece has stoked anticipation even further by dropping Rapture Lightbringer’s second single, which doubles down on untethered riffs and a gritty tone that we just can’t get enough of.

Standout guitar moment: That slinky, beat-jumping main melody deserves a mention, especially with its warbly tone, and when used as a preface to the twangy, bend-laden guitar solo, the track really reaches its peak.

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

– Matt Owen

Ana Popovic – Turn My Luck

What is it? The just-released single from the blues guitarist’s newly-announced LP, Power. With a delectable, bouncing groove, modern flourishes and biting acoustic slide licks, the two-and-change minute Turn My Luck is an incredibly catchy mix of old-world and new-world sounds. 

Standout guitar moment: Those aforementioned quickfire acoustic slide hits, especially those before the first verse. Perfectly executed, they set the scene of the song in short order – we just wish there were more of them!

For fans of: Samantha Fish, Erja Lyytinen, Bonnie Raitt

Jackson Maxwell

The WAEVE – Over and Over

What is it? Blur’s anti-guitar hero Graham Coxon leans into his recent soundtrack work on this lusciously orchestrated chill guitar jam from new duo The WAEVE. With aching bends and crystalline chords, it’s a surprisingly traditional guitar performance from Coxon for much of the track, but the arrangement captures the magic of Blur’s more understated epics.

Standout guitar moment: All the above being said, we should probably talk about Over and Over’s gonzo solo, complete with raging slapback and Coxon’s wild vibrato arm shuffles, which give his leads a real Neil Young flavor.

For fans of: Blur, Widowspeak, Arctic Monkeys

– Michael Astley-Brown

In Flames – Meet Your Maker

What is it? The latest single from Foregone, the upcoming 14th studio album from Swedish heavy metal stalwarts In Flames. Driven initially by a thunder-conjuring double kick pattern from drummer Tanner Wayne, Meet Your Maker is unrelenting in its brutality, beautiful in its thoughtful smatterings of melody, and jaw-dropping thanks to the ever-killer guitar work of resident axe-slingers Björn Gelotte and Chris Broderick.

Standout guitar moment: A guitar solo reaches its pinnacle at the 3:06 mark, when both Gelotte and Broderick link up for a stunning alternate-picked harmonized lead line.

For fans of: Dark Tranquility, Scar Symmetry, Arch Enemy

Sam Roche

Oxymorrons – Enemy 

What is it? A nu-metal-y, hip-hop/hard rock fusion offering from Oxymorrons, who have conveniently coined the term “Melanin Punk” to describe their expansive, riff-driven sound. There’s some subtle rap in there, and a touch of trap for good measure, but the sonic melting pot that is Enemy is underpinned by some speaker-smashing guitars, which transform the track from a conventional hip hop number into a monstrous low-end beatdown.

Standout guitar moment: Those mammoth, angsty riffs. Enough said.

For fans of: Kid Kapichi, Jackie, Vukovi

– Matt Owen

Mudhoney – Almost Everything

What is it? Through the spectacular rise and fall of the bands they influenced, countless rock micro-trends, global pandemics and what have you, Mudhoney have just kept right on going, delivering album after album of dependably solid sludge-punk for decades. Almost Everything the careening and creepy first single off of the grunge godfathers’ upcoming 11th studio offering, Plastic Eternity slots perfectly into that consistently killer discography. 

Standout guitar moment: Steve Turner’s central riff is hypnotic in its minimalism, but… this is a band that named its debut EP Superfuzz Bigmuff. They’ve long had some of the best fuzzed-out tone in the business, and Almost Everything is indeed – between Mark Arm’s urgent rhythm work and Steve Turner’s Iommi-by-way-of-the-garage leads – a festival of prime dirt.

For fans of: The Stooges, MC5, The Velvet Underground

Jackson Maxwell

Silver Moth – Mother Tongue

What is it? Mogwai soundsmith Stuart Braithwaite’s latest side-project, a collaboration with members of Abrasive Trees, Burning House and Prosthetic Head. Improvised in the moody surroundings of Black Bay Studio in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, their output is the very definition of ‘mood’: all brooding arpeggiated chords and wrought, wiry leads.

Standout guitar moment: The lightly tremolo’d, gossamer guitars that open Mother Tongue hark back to Mogwai’s 1997 debut, with fragmented single-note lines that transport the track to the dusty plains of desert rock.

For fans of: Mogwai, Earth, Red Sparowes

– Michael Astley-Brown

BABYMETAL – Metal Kingdom

What is it? BABYMETAL have been on a quest for global metal domination since their formation in Tokyo, Japan in 2010. And in 2023, they’re gearing up for the next offensive in their assault, with their fourth album, and first concept album, The Other One.

Prior to this week, we were treated to two singles from the forthcoming album, Divine Attack – Shingeki and Monochrome. And now, the duo offer up the record’s third sonic morsel, Metal Kingdom.

Suitably grandiose, the track is relatively simple in its arrangement with a bed of gain-laden electric guitars providing an ample springboard for massive vocal choir sections throughout.

Standout guitar moment: Metal Kingdom is devoid of lead guitar, but its consistent wall of distorted powerchords is instrumental to the track's grandeur.

For fans of: BAND-MAID, Sabaton, Unleash the Archers

Sam Roche

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.