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From fuzz re-awakenings to blistering desert blues: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Momma
Momma (Image credit: Momma/YouTube)

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 Afghan Whigs – I’ll Make You See God

What is it? The Greg Dulli-fronted alt-rock heroes return with their first new music in five years, and a new guitarist in Blind Melon man Christopher Thorn. I’ll Make You See God is a fierier, more propulsive rocker than you might expect from a band on the cusp of releasing their ninth album – its grinding powerchord riffs are like stoner rock on speed.

Standout guitar moment: Thorn slots into the Whigs lineup with ease, and his warbly Leslie leads and blistering pentatonics further amp up I’ll Make You See God’s adrenaline rush riffage.

For fans of: Queens of the Stone Age, Fu Manchu, Clutch

– Michael Astley-Brown

Mdou Moctar – Nakanegh Dich

What is it? A previously unreleased studio outtake that’s set to appear on the forthcoming deluxe digital edition of Moctar's phenomenal 2021 album, Afrique Victime. The smokin’ tune marks the first time the Nigerien maestro has used a wah pedal on record, and boy does he put it to good use.

Standout guitar moment: Moctar’s aching, wah-soaked cries in the extended intro are stunning, but the song’s freewheeling closing solo – which sets his show-stealing rock guitar showmanship (you’ll need a fire extinguisher for your headphones or speakers after those light-speed hammer-ons and pull-offs) against the backdrop of the desert blues influences he grew up with – is one of his best to date.

For fans of: Tinariwen, Abdallah Oumbadougou, Imarhan

Jackson Maxwell

Momma – Rockstar

What is it? The heaviest offering yet from the on-the-up Brooklyn guitar duo, Rockstar marks something of a fuzz reawakening for Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten – appropriate given Smashing Pumpkins’ Hummer is namechecked in the lyrics – but keeps their trademark infectious guitar melodies and slacker harmonies in check.

Standout guitar moment: The exact second that wall of guitars hits after the initial snare hit. Momma never sounded bigger.

For fans of: Wolf Alice, Smashing Pumpkins, Jay Som

– Michael Astley-Brown

Stray From the Path – Guillotine

What is it? The latest single from Long Island, New York hardcore stalwarts, Stray From the Path. The band’s first new material since 2019’s Internal Atomics, Guillotine is a scathing commentary on wealth inequality as a result of the pandemic, driven by the crushing guitar riffs of Thomas Williams and the visceral vocals of Andrew Dijorio.

Standout guitar moment: We’d wager there’s barely a person on Earth who wouldn’t mosh to the crushing breakdown at the 2:29 mark.

For fans of: The Ghost Inside, Stick To Your Guns, The Acacia Strain

Sam Roche

Bonnie Raitt – Made Up Mind

What is it? Made Up Mind is the first single from Just Like That…, the many-times-platinum singer-songwriter and blues guitar ace’s first new studio effort in six years. With Nashville session guitar star Kenny Greenberg adding plenty of sting to this love-gone-south tale with his in-the-pocket interjections, this tune shows Raitt in classically strong and proud form.  

Standout guitar moment: Greenberg puts in a fine performance, but this is a Bonnie Raitt song, after all. Sticking to what she does best, Raitt colors Made Up Mind with some wonderful slide work, outlining the pain and sadness that lie beneath the surface of her protagonist’s steely resolve.  

For fans of: Lucinda Williams, Joe Bonamassa, Tedeschi Trucks Band

Jackson Maxwell

Ghost Hounds – Baby We’re Through 

What is it? A bare knuckle blues-rock bust up lifted from Ghost Hounds’ upcoming EP. With energetic instrumentation – propped up by rolling snares and a pull-off-heavy clean guitar hook – contrasting the otherwise downbeat message, it’s foot-to-floor from the get-go, with relentlessly rolling rhythm guitar playing and a tapestry of tasty licks.

Standout guitar moment: At the 1:47 mark there’s a neat little break-down, which reintroduces the overdriven guitar with some energy-bumping stabs before a full-blown solo arrives in the ring, drenched in pentatonic jabs, bruising bends, and a smattering of double-stop uppercuts.

For fans of: ZZ Top, Samantha Fish

– Matt Owen 

Malevolence – On Broken Glass

What is it? The first single from Sheffield metal outfit Malevolence’s upcoming third album, Malicious Intent. An unrelenting four-and-a-half-minute sonic onslaught, On Broken Glass is packed full of synergistic dual guitar harmonies and savage drop-tuned heavyweight riffs.

Standout guitar moment: From the 2:27 mark, the track puts pedal to the metal, unleashing a fiery guitar solo packed with screaming alternate picked licks.

For fans of: While She Sleeps, Boundaries

Sam Roche

Enumclaw – 2002

What is it? Tacoma, Washington quartet Enumclaw specialize in grime-coated but lovable pop songs that borrow from both the maximalism of grunge and more angular ‘90s alt-rock luminaries. 2002 is the band’s new stand-alone single, and their first release for Luminelle Records.

Standout guitar moment: For a song that’s got plenty of snark in it, 2002 also shows the band reaching for new heights – not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Aramis Johnson and Eli Edwards make for a terrific two-guitar team, and the latter’s exclamation mark of a closing solo slyly adds some sincere, guitar-face-inducing bends to this otherwise punky gem. 

For fans of: Charly Bliss, Ovlov, Soccer Mommy

Jackson Maxwell

The Snuts – Zuckerpunch

What is it? A downtempo, politically charged assault on social media from the Scottish indie-rockers. Despite its two-and-a-half-minute duration, Zuckerpunch traverses a heck of a lot of sonic ground, from trip-hop guitar figures to fuzzed-out blues riffs and a monster solo section.

Standout guitar moment: While we love the Portishead vibes of that arpeggiated main hook, Joe McGillveray’s glitched-out, ultra-quacky wah leads are a thrill ride from start to finish.

For fans of: Blossoms, The Hunna, Sam Fender

– Michael Astley-Brown

Corey Taylor – Shakin’

What is it? A previously unreleased track from Corey Taylor’s solo debut, CMFT, which arrived in 2020. Arriving with new EP, CMFB… Sides – which also features an acoustic version of Kansas, a couple of additional new tracks and his cover of Metallica’s Holier Than ThouShakin’ is a killer cover of Eddie Money’s 1982 track of the same name.

Standout guitar moment: The solo from the 1:24 mark is expertly delivered, and beautifully honors Money’s original lead lines.

For fans of: Stone Sour, Eddie Money

Sam Roche

CMAT – Every Bottle (Is My Boyfriend) 

What is it? A new single from Irish breakout star Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson (hence the CMAT acronym). With her first effort looming, CMAT has already assembled a staunch following with only nine singles to her name, and a brief appraisal of the growing repertoire will explain why. Every Bottle is evidence that her songwriting chops are getting better with every release, and with a gorgeous canvas of guitars in tow, it looks like she's going to have one helluva debut album.

Standout guitar moment: Those bite-y cascading pre-chorus electric guitars, which find the perfect combination of fretted notes and open strings, are so easy on the ears it’s ridiculous.

For fans of: Kacey Musgraves, Patsy Cline, Jenny Lewis

– Matt Owen

Blossoms – Ode To NYC 

What is it? A love letter to New York City, courtesy of English quartet Blossoms, which first burst onto the scene with their acclaimed self-titled debut album in 2016. A key player in the new wave “guitar music isn’t dead” indie rock movement, the band have stripped back their trademark style of synth-heavy production for a far more open, guitar-driven single that sees electric, acoustic and slide guitars assimilate together in blissful harmony.

Standout guitar moment: It’s a fingerpicking, two-chord see-saw for much of the runtime, but the bridge at 1:30 – which introduces a delicious blues-y chromatic descent, followed by a reprise of the modulated melody – is a particular highlight.

For fans of: Circa Waves, Sundara Karma, The Magic Gang

– 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).