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From John Mayer-approved folk-pop to returning mathcore fury: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Madison Cunningham performs onstage at Harry Styles "Harryween" Fancy Dress Party at Madison Square Garden on October 30, 2021 in New York City.
(Image credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for HS)

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.

Red Hot Chili Peppers  – Tippa My Tongue

What is it? Earlier this year, John Frusciante told us his first rehearsals back with the Red Hot Chili Peppers were primarily made up of tracks from their first three albums. You’d be hard-pressed to hear the influence on Unlimited Love, but this first cut from their second double record of 2022, Return of the Dream Canteen, has a sublime laid-back groove that, for our money, harks way back to The Uplift Mofo Party Plan.

Standout guitar moment: Frusciante’s guitar is pushed to the fore throughout, all slapback delay funk vamps and driven pentatonic riffs. Those psychedelic oscillations in the middle eight are mighty fun, too.

For fans of: Red Hot Chili Peppers, basically

– Michael Astley-Brown

Larkin Poe – Georgia Off My Mind 

What is it? We’re still three months away from Larkin Poe’s highly anticipated upcoming album Blood Harmony, but the Lovell sisters’ latest single – a play on popular jazz standard Georgia On My Mind – has done nothing to make the wait seem any less unbearable. It’s quintessential Poe, with Rebecca and Megan delivering a devastating dual guitar line that marries roots-y riffing, blues-y licks and some sensational slide/six-string interplay.

Standout guitar moment: The opening riff, hands down. It’s got the balance of tremolo and gain nailed to a T, with Megan’s textural slides fleshing out Rebecca’s growling Strat rather nicely indeed.

For fans of: Samantha Fish, Marcus King, Joanne Shaw Taylor

– Matthew Owen

Botch – One Twenty Two

What is it? Of all the new music to land in 2022, fresh material from influential mathcore outfit Botch ranked pretty close to the last thing we’d expect. Yet, impossibly, here we are: One Twenty Two is about as ferocious as anything we could have hoped for – the only downside is that it’s a one-off, accompanying the eagerly anticipated vinyl reissue of the seminal We Are the Romans.

Standout guitar moment: Those wild pitch bends take Dave Knudson’s sleazy riff into the stratosphere. It’s good to hear the Minus the Bear mastermind lend his hand to something altogether heavier again.

For fans of: Converge, Minus the Bear, Russian Circles

– Michael Astley-Brown

Electric Callboy – Hurrikan

What is it? “But I thought this was a roundup of the week’s best guitar tracks!” we hear you mutter. Fear not, and stick with it, because despite the cheesy Euro-esque dance beat that drives the track’s first minute, a savage breakdown – which couldn’t be further removed from the musical material that precedes it – asserts itself in its closing 30 seconds, chaotically shaped with gut-punching drop-tuned guitars, head-spinning blast beats, and stomach-churning vocals.

Standout guitar moment: Daniel "Danskimo" Haniß and Pascal Schillo’s dissonant chugs and chord strums from the 1:11 mark in the video above are some of the heaviest sounds you can conjure from a guitar.

For fans of: We Came As Romans, Fit For a King, Motionless in White

Sam Roche

Mdou Moctar – Imouhar 

What is it? Back in 2021, the Mdou Moctar mixtape series began to take shape, and since blossomed into Niger EP Vol. 1, a new EP that unleashes an epic 13-minute guitar/drum machine jam titled Imouhar. Moctar has proved time and time again that he’s one of today’s most thrilling players, and Imouhar is no exception. Soloing stamina, inventive lines, fierce technique… this track has got it all in spades.

Standout guitar moment: Does six minutes count as a “moment”? Well, it does now. We don’t think it would be possible to select a highlight from the opening 360 seconds of soloing and we wouldn’t want to either – it’s all excellent.

For fans of: Tinariwen, Bombino 

– Matthew Owen

LØLØ – u turn me on (but u give me depression)

What is it? The latest single from Canadian singer-songwriter LØLØ’s forthcoming EP, debbie downer. After building a following on TikTok reimagining classic music hits – including Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 hit Dancing in the Dark – LØLØ signed with Hopeless Records late last year, and has her sights firmly fixed on pop-punk domination. And with the resurgence of the genre spearheaded by the likes of Machine Gun Kelly, Demi Lovato, Willow Smith and more, she’s chosen a fantastic time to stake her claim.

Standout guitar moment: The track’s opening guitar riff is gloriously simple, and instantly evokes both a sense of nostalgia for early-noughties pop-punk, and excitement for where the genre is headed.

For fans of: State Champs, Maggie Lindemann, Machine Gun Kelly

Sam Roche

Death Cab For Cutie – Foxglove Through the Clearcut

What is it? Ben Gibbard and co go full post-rock on the latest effort from next month’s 10th studio album, Asphalt Meadows, and the result is a five-minute epic as emotive as any of the Seattle indie institution’s biggest heart-wrenchers.

Standout guitar moment: The guitar orchestration on Foxglove is sublime throughout, but that eruption of tremolo picking and tremulous single-note lead lines at the track’s apex is a real gut-punch.

For fans of: Slint, Explosions in the Sky, Pinback

– Michael Astley-Brown

Madison Cunningham – Life According to Raechel

What is it? A track taken from the latest EP of folk rock singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham, who uses Life According To Raechel to flex her devastating vocal, compositional and six-string skills. The emotionally charged chord progression – filled with swampy strums – immediately sets the scene for the song, which introduces more emotion and instrumental intrigue as it dreamily weaves its way along to its finale.

Standout guitar moment: The way Cunningham makes the guitar’s strings bend to her will as she strums away is a marvel to listen to. The dynamics of the progression truly tug at the heartstrings, and nicely complement the hard hitting lyrics of the track.

For fans of: Julia Jacklin, Madi Diaz, The Dip

– Matthew Owen 

Five Finger Death Punch – The End

What is it? The closing track of Five Finger Death Punch’s new album, AfterLife. With a vibe similar to the band’s previous softer tracks including Wrong Side of Heaven and Far From Home, The End rounds out the Las Vegas troupe’s blistering ninth studio album with triumphant compositional maturity, with an arrangement of pristine-sounding acoustic guitars, and fuller instrumental sections in which Ivan Moody’s powerful voice really shines.

Standout guitar moment: The gorgeously recorded acoustic guitars provide a much-welcome sonic respite after an album filled to the brim with aggressive guitar riffs.

For fans of: Stone Sour, Trivium, Disturbed

Sam Roche

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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.