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From wah-drenched jams to Phrygian throwdowns: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Billy Duffy performs onstage with The Cult at La Riviera on August 21, 2019 in Madrid, Spain
(Image credit: Mariano Regidor/Redferns)

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 Cult – A Cut Inside

What is it? Yet more evidence that Billy Duffy’s guitar playing is quite simply timeless. A Cut Inside is taken from the UK rock institution’s 11th studio effort, and it’s anthemic and brooding in equal measure.

Standout guitar moment: Duffy’s Gretsch tone – possibly courtesy of the still-in-development Falcon Junior – soars out of the speakers, especially on that chunky main riff. With a different rig, those Phrygian overtones would be out-and-out metal, but they’re all the more beguiling delivered via hollowbody crunch.

For fans of: The Cure, Def Leppard, L.A. Guns 

– Michael Astley-Brown

Yungblud – Don’t Go 

What is it? For whatever reason, Yungblud is a polarizing figure in music, but if there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s that his most recent self-titled album – his third studio LP to date – is his most mature, accomplished and well-rounded effort so far. Case in point is Don’t Go, which sees Yungblud – aka Dominic Harrison – pair his story-like lyrics with some tightly produced guitar action. 

Rather than offering a sporadic assault on the ears with loud-as-you-can-go gains and vocals that tread the line between singing and screaming, Don’t Go is contained and well-structured, and is a sign that, despite his mad hatter act, Yungblud is a seriously good musician.

Standout guitar moment: The see-sawing between lo-fi acoustic guitars that sound like they were recorded on a smartphone and the high fidelity electric guitars make for a refreshing Yungblud listening experience, with the delicately layered melodies adding even more six-string ear candy into the mix.

For fans of: KennyHoopla, The 1975, Machine Gun Kelly

– Matt Owen

Lamb of God – Grayscale

What is it? The third single from Virginia metal juggernaut Lamb of God’s forthcoming ninth album, Omens. Following its title track and Nevermore, Grayscale is similarly frantic – with a clutch of speaker-rattling riffs courtesy of longtime axemen Mark Morton and Willie Adler – and showcases a metal institution that despite nearly three decades in the game, courses with more unbridled energy than ever.

Standout guitar moment: While Mark Morton and Willie Adler’s tried-and-tested Phrygian antics are an obvious choice here, we’re hard pressed to remember a better-played pinch harmonic than the one at the 1:15 mark.

For fans of: Machine Head, DevilDriver, Trivium

Sam Roche

Joanne Shaw Taylor – Just No Getting Over You (Dream Cruise)

What is it? The tough, soulful lead single from the British blues guitar great’s new, Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith-produced album, Nobody's Fool. Just No Getting Over You nods to the blues certainly, but isn’t an orthodox work, referencing Stax and Motown with an infectious, horn-led groove that’s impossible not to love. 

Standout guitar moment: Uptempo it may be, this a heartache song, and Taylor delivers the goods with a biting, attitude-filled solo that speaks a thousand words. Top prize, though, has to go to that opening riff, which Keith Richards would have been proud to pen. 

For fans of: The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Joe Bonamassa

Jackson Maxwell

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Ice V 

What is it? Another extended epic from Aussie psychedelic rockers King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, who spend Ice V’s 10-minute runtime stitching together a tapestry of growling lead licks and numerous nuanced melodic counterpoint motifs. It’s also the first single ahead of what looks to be a hectic October for King Gizzard, who are gearing up to release not one, not two, but three albums in one month. With each track boasting plus-five-minute runtimes – a few even hit the 15 minute mark – you better have a big appetite for Gizzard material: there’s a lot coming.

Standout guitar moment: The extended jam section from the 2:10 mark is a highlight. Kicking off with some percussive wah strums and twinkly upper-register scale licks, the instrumentation builds as it introduces more and more six-string action, culminating in the form of snappy strums and slow bebop-y runs.

For fans of: The Smile, Black Midi, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

– Matt Owen

Brutus – Victoria

What is it? Art-rock, post-rock, post-hardcore: whatever you want to call them, Brutus are possibly the most exciting thing to ever come out of Belgium, thanks to the potent combination of pining guitar melodies and impassioned vocals from singing stickswoman Stefanie Mannaerts.

Standout guitar moment: If you like your guitar tones slathered in reverb, Stijn ‘soundgaerden’ Vanhoegaerden’s got your back. He’s got a smart ear for guitar parts that tread the line between chord progressions and riffs, all of which weave their way into your psyche.

For fans of: Thrice, Cave In, Emma Ruth Rundle

– Michael Astley-Brown

Cherie Amour – Letting Go

What is it? Offering an stirring blend of hip-hop and pop-punk, Baltimore-based four-piece Cherie Amour serve up killer vibes in abundance on their latest track, Letting Go. While frontman Trey Miller highlights himself as a exceptionally talented vocalist – switching between effortless rap flow and uber-catchy melodic lines – guitarists Casey Reid and Brendan Willis illustrate how well the electric guitar works with hip-hop with a series of punk-style arpeggios and powerchords.

Standout guitar moment: The intermittent arpeggios in the intro marry perfectly with Miller’s vocals, with periodic volume swells for added dynamic effect.

For fans of: KennyHoopla, State Champs, Blink-182

Sam Roche

Molly Payton – Do It All the Same 

What is it? She’s currently on tour supporting indie rock phenom Beabadoobee, but Molly Payton has all the attributes to become one of the genre’s hottest up-and-coming acts in her own right, evidenced by her guitar-heavy new single, Do It All the Same. Oversized chorus hooks, sizzling decorative leads and an infectious attitude that makes you want to sling an air guitar down to just above the knees, it’s a track that is probably proving to be very popular among Beabadoobee gig-goers right now, and for good reason.

Standout guitar moment: As far as indie tones go, Payton’s sticker-battered white Fender Strat treads the tightrope between clean and dirty very nicely indeed, and, when paired with the razor-like leads of the chorus, falls over the edge into all-out indie rock bliss.

For fans of: Wallice, Beabadoobee, Soccer Mommy

– Matt Owen

Sorry – Key to the City

What is it? The latest from North London’s hottest gloom-pop outfit marries downbeat grunge sensibilities with the kind of melancholic arpeggiated progressions that dominated indie post-Johnny Marr. In essence, it’s right up our street.

Standout guitar moment: The opening guitar line is deceptively tricksy, awash with nifty hammer-ons and pull-offs.

For fans of: Arlo Parks, Placebo, Shame

– Michael Astley-Brown

Wednesday – Bull Believer

What is it? The first single the up-and-coming Asheville, North Carolina quintet have released with indie giant Dead Oceans. Wednesday have had some noisy outbursts before, but Bull Believer is a different beast all together, a multi-faceted eight-minute colossus with a stunning, climactic outro that takes this group’s sound to a whole new level.

Standout guitar moment: Karly Hartzman and MJ Lenderman’s six-string chemistry has never been more potent, but it’s Xandy Chelmis who really steals the show here, making his lap steel alternately sound like blaring sirens and hypnotic, ever-so-slightly discordant church bells.

For fans of: My Bloody Valentine, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Snail Mail

Jackson Maxwell

Ozzy Osbourne – Nothing Feels Right (feat. Zakk Wylde)

What is it? The latest from The Price of Darkness’s highly anticipated and star-studded 13th solo album, Patient Number 9. Continuing the album’s trend of high-profile guest spots – Jeff Beck featured on its title track, while Tony Iommi appeared on second single Degradation Rules – Osbourne’s former six-string sidekick Zakk Wylde lends his chops to this one, offering crystalline cleans, stereo-filling powerchords and a lead passage for the ages.

Standout guitar moment: Wylde displays not only his enviable soloing skills but also his six-string endurance in a minute-long solo from the 3:28 mark, loaded with lightning-fast alternate picking phrases, soaring melodies and face-melting descending pull-off runs.

For fans of: Black Sabbath, Black Label Society

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.