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From Hendrixian comebacks to riff-fueled throwdowns: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Lucy Dacus performs at the Okeechobee Music Festival at Sunshine Grove on March 08, 2020 in Okeechobee, Florida
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage)

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 – Black Summer

What is it? John Frusciante’s first new music with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in a decade and a half, taken from new 17-track full-length Unlimited Love, set to drop on April 1. It’s a mid-tempo radio-rocker in the vein of RHCP’s Stadium Arcadium era, but one that foregrounds Frusciante’s inimitable playing in a way that will send chills down the spine of any guitarist who has missed hearing that ’62 Strat in his hands.

Standout guitar moment: The track runs the gamut of Frusciante-isms, from Hendrixian embellishments to lashings of modulation effects, but the fuzz solo that lands at after the song’s first chorus is a beautifully executed reimagining of Anthony Kiedis’s vocal line, with wide, expertly controlled bends and neat passing notes.

For fans of: Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Frusciante, Jimi Hendrix

– Michael Astley-Brown

The Fearless Flyers – Patrol Acrobatique 

What is it? The first single from Fearless Flyers III – the upcoming LP from Cory Wong and Mark Lettieri’s Fearless Flyers project. The pair are in devastating form, and need only 98 seconds to floor you with their top-of-the-game techniques. Blistering right-hand rolls, super-tight cleans and some surgically precise note selection – Patrol Acrobatique has got it all.

Standout guitar moment: The last 30 seconds, for sure. For a fleeting moment, the two guitarists hone in on their respective specialties, with Wong serving up a none-more-funk rhythm bed for Lettieri’s trademark low-string riffage.

For fans of: Vulfpeck, Snarky Puppy, Louis Cole

– Matt Owen 

Halestorm – The Steeple

What is it? Redemption’s the name of the game on this, the second single from Halestorm’s newly-announced fifth studio album, Back From the Dead. Singer/guitarist Lzzy Hale’s been through “hell,” but she’s back, and certainly ready to rock from the sounds of this anthem.  

Standout guitar moment: That opening riff’s got good bones, as they say. It makes an entrance like the Kool-Aid man and is bound to be a crowd-pleaser once Halestorm take this record on the road. Joe Hottinger’s solo, with its effective blend of expressive, bluesy cries and thrash-y speed, is also the perfect cherry on top. 

For fans of: Tremonti, Evanescence, Mammoth WVH

Jackson Maxwell

Arch Enemy – Handshake With Hell

What is it? The third single from Arch Enemy’s recently announced 11th studio album, Deceivers. No less heavy than the record’s two previously released singles, Deceiver, Deceiver and House of Mirrors, Handshake With Hell once again finds guitarists Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis in top form. But then again, when are they not?

Standout guitar moment: The opening tapping lick of the solo at the 4:40 marks serves, whether knowingly or not, as a fitting tribute to Eddie Van Halen, before transforming with an abundance of shreddy rapid-fire passages and soaring bends.

For fans of: In Flames, Amon Amarth, Bullet For My Valentine

Sam Roche

Nova Twins – K.M.B. 

What is it? The second single from UK-based rock duo Nova Twins’ forthcoming sophomore album, Supernova. In fitting with the album’s theme, K.M.B. – Kill My Boyfriend – unleashes an interstellar explosion of battering buzzsaw guitar riffs, the ferocity of which are only rivaled by lead singer Amy Love’s earth-shattering vocals. The results, as you can imagine, are quite spectacular.

Standout guitar moment: The brooding bass/guitar double-act mischievously simmers away throughout the track, but comes to a head during the outro exchange, which is an all-out riff-fueled throwdown.

For fans of: Royal Blood, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

– Matt Owen

Lucy Dacus – Kissing Lessons

What is it? A sub-two-minute standalone single, this song is – with its focus on a formative childhood crush – thematically connected to the Virginia native’s stellar 2021 album, Home Video.  

Standout guitar moment: For this writer’s money, Dacus and Jacob Blizard are one of the most underrated guitar tandems in rock right now, and they’re in fine form on this tune, with Dacus giving the song its buzzing, rhythm guitar pulse and Blizard adding some twinkly leads in the second half that color the edges of this nostalgic trip back in time beautifully.

For fans of: Phoebe Bridgers, Christian Lee Hutson, Tomberlin

Jackson Maxwell

Painted Shield – Dead Man’s Dream

What is it? Pearl Jam rhythm king Stone Gossard’s riffs-meets-electronica side-project returns sooner than expected, and with an altogether rockier edge – vocalists Mason Jennings and Brittany Davis really let rip, while Gossard indulges his love of The Who and Led Zeppelin with chunky Les Paul tones and windmill-worthy ringing chords.

Standout guitar moment: It has to be that chromatic opening riff, which bears all the groovy hallmarks of Gossard’s early Pearl Jam playing, with added hard-rock swagger.

For fans of: Pearl Jam, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin

– Michael Astley-Brown

The Devil Wears Prada – Watchtower

What is it? A masterclass in drop-tuned, pit-spinning riffs from Dayton, Ohio metalcore stalwarts, The Devil Wears Prada. A standalone track which follows 2021’s ZII EP and subsequent single Sacrifice, Watchtower offers little in the way of respite throughout, as it hurls riff after glorious riff at your speakers with unbridled energy.

Standout guitar moment: The breakdown at the 2:25 mark, which quite frankly has so much weight that it could send a planet off the course of its gravitational orbit.

For fans of: August Burns Red, Memphis May Fire, We Came As Romans

Sam Roche

Liam Gallagher – Everything’s Electric 

What is it? The latest single to be lifted from Gallagher’s forthcoming studio album C’Mon You Know – the third installment of his solo repertoire. Co-written by Dave Grohl, the track also features the Foo Fighters frontman behind the kit, and sees the pair combine their respective expertise for a guitar-driven, heavy-hitting pop-rock extravaganza.

Standout guitar moment: The guitar department is plenty busy through Everything’s Electric, and when it's finished offering up an ocean of arena-filling rhythm guitars it delivers a sizzling solo that closes the track out in style.

For fans of: Oasis, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Beady Eye

– Matt Owen

Luna Li – Silver Into Rain (feat beabadoobee)

What is it? This woozy indie slow-burner is set to make a star of Korean-Canadian multi-instrumentalist Luna Li, who is due to release her debut album on March 4. Silver Into Rain taps up the talents of London-based Fender fan beabadoobee, but Li needs no help in the six-string department, deploying a wealth of psychedelic embellished chords and crunchy single-note leads.

Standout guitar moment: We’re suckers for a clean phased guitar, and there are stacks of ’em here. But don’t let the dreamy tones lure you away from the smart chord turnarounds and rhythmic twists: this is indie songwriting par excellence.

For fans of: Nilüfer Yanya, Girl in Red

– Michael Astley-Brown

Illuminati Hotties – Sandwich Sharer

What is it? A beautiful new single from Sarah Tudzin’s Illuminati Hotties project, released just prior to the first headline tour in support of her fantastic 2021 album, Let Me Do One More.

Standout guitar moment: Sandwich Sharer’s graceful tempo changes are stunning to behold, specifically the beautiful, all-enveloping guitar tone Tudzin – an in-demand engineer by day – gets on those ringing chords she plays whenever the song slows itself down.

For fans of: Charly Bliss, Waxahatchee, Best Coast

Jackson Maxwell

Cage Fight – Shine Don’t Fade

What is it? The high-octane second single from Cage Fight, a band which features TesseracT guitarist James Monteith and former Eths vocalist Rachel Aspe. Cage Fight might be a new name, but Shine Don’t Fade is an unrelenting display of force from these seasoned heavy metal vets.

Standout guitar moment: Just when you thought the track was in the highest gear, Monteith shifts it one notch further, putting his formidable shred skills on display with a dizzying solo at the 2:19 mark.

For fans of: Arch Enemy, Venom Prison, TesseracT

Sam Roche

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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).