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From snappy Southern rock to high-octane metalcore: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Patterson Hood (left) and Mike Cooley of Drive-By Truckers perform at Tipitina's on September 26, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana
(Image credit: Erika Goldring/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.

Marcus King – Hard Working Man 

What is it? The lead single from Marcus King’s newly announced album, Young Blood, which will be the blues rock phenom’s first album in two years. In classic King fashion, the Gibson ES-355-wielding wizard marks his royal return with a tapestry of regal six-string soundscapes, headed up by a punchy progression, dangerously infectious vocal hook and some intermittent decorative bends and embellishing licks.

Standout guitar moment: The super-sweet solo that crops up at around the 1:55 mark, which demonstrates King’s rock-solid powers of note selection and phrase assembly via a string of effortlessly executed ascending-then-descending scale runs and wailing show-stopping bends.

For fans of: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Gov’t Mule, Gary Clark Jr. 

– Matt Owen

Architects – When We Were Young

What is it? A crushing new single from British metalcore heavyweights Architects, powered by the no-frills, high-octane guitar work of Josh Middleton and Adam Christianson. 

Standout guitar moment: Lead guitar work goes amiss here, but the main riff hits hard enough to carry the track throughout.

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

Sam Roche

Walter Trout – Ghosts

What is it? The haunting lead single from Ride, the blues guitar veteran's forthcoming 30th full-length solo effort.

Standout guitar moment: Ghosts doesn't shy away from the painful memories of Trout's trouble past, and you can feel those emotions vividly in the song's two explosive solos, which – with their huge bends and top-tier displays of vibrato – serve as the song's centerpieces. 

For fans of: Joe Bonamassa, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan

Jackson Maxwell

Natty Reeves – White Lies 

What is it? A new laid-back, head sway-inducing neo-soul bop from UK-based multi-instrumentalist Natty Reeves, who once again showcases his accomplished abilities to piece together a hypnotic, guitar-driven groove. The production – completed by Reeves, too – is also top notch, and gives ample space for the multitude of guitars to dance around, from the layered acoustics of the intro to the crunchy electric of the outro.

Standout guitar moment: It’s sultry, swaggering and textural guitars aplenty in the track, with the delicate layers coming to a fore for a gritty finale solo that blends tasty bends with silky slides and chime-y, two-note motifs.

For fans of: Tom Misch, Conor Albert, Charlie Allen 

– Matt Owen 

Northlane – Abomination

What is it? A highlight from the Aussie metallers’ just-released album, Obsidian. In typical Northlane fashion, Abomination fuses pounding drop-tuned electric guitars and speaker-rattling bass lines with digitally influenced sounds, together forming an electronic tapestry upon which frontman Marcus Bridge lays down his ever-visceral vocals. 

Standout guitar moment: There’s not one standout guitar moment per se, but the work of Jon Deiley and Josh Smith is integral to the song’s battering effectiveness.

For fans of: ERRA, While She Sleeps, Fit For A King

Sam Roche

Drive-By Truckers – Welcome 2 Club XIII 

What is it? The title track and lead single from the Southern rock institution's forthcoming 14th studio album.

Standout guitar moment: This tight 'n' snappy three-minute rocker lacks a solo, but Mike Cooley remains as perfect a six-string translator of Patterson Hood's tales of ne'er-do-wells as ever. 

The sweet, tangy slides (with a touch of bite) that Cooley deploys in the song's central riff really show the influence of his and the band's Muscle Shoals, Alabama origins, and are a perfect fit with the song's lyrics, which humorously reflect on the band's pre-fame days slugging it out in clubs throughout the South.

For fans of: Old '97s, Son Volt, Jason Isbell

Jackson Maxwell

We Came As Romans, Brand of Sacrifice – Darkbloom

What is it? An earth-shaking new collaboration between Michigan metallers We Came As Romans and Canadian extreme metal outfit Brand of Sacrifice. A reimagining of We Came As Roman's track of the same name – released in 2021 – it’s infused with the astoundingly tight and technical musical ability of both bands, resulting in a cacophonous-yet-precise exhibition of modern metalcore.

Standout guitar moment: The drop-tuned guitars in the breakdown from the 3:12 mark sound as though they’ve been harnessed from pits of hell itself.

For fans of: Hollow Prophet, Of Mice & Men, Memphis May Fire

Sam Roche

Georgia Harmer – Top Down

What is it? The propulsive new single from the Toronto singer-songwriter's upcoming debut album, Stay in Touch.

Standout guitar moment: There are no six-string theatrics at play here, but the lead guitar work is immaculately suited to the song – with fills in just the right places and chordal work that interacts perfectly with Harmer's confident vocal delivery.

For fans of: Tomberlin, Lucy Dacus, Lucinda Williams

Jackson Maxwell

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.

With contributions from