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From melodic, headbang-inducing chug to explosive indie-pop perfection: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Kaki King
(Image credit: Ebru Yildiz)

It's that time of the week again! Stop what you're doing, sit back and get ready to digest some of the greatest guitar tracks of the last seven days, curated lovingly for you at Guitar World headquarters.

We've got a melodic new offering from British metalcore titans Architects, an all-star multi-sub-genre metal crossover from Hollywood Undead, Papa Roach and Ice Nine Kills, a gorgeously atmospheric number from acoustic pioneer Kaki King, a hard-rock banger from Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, and loads more.

So relax, set down your six-string, and allow us to inspire you with our best finds of the past week.

Kaki King – Can't Touch This or That or You or My Face

We’ve been absolutely dying to hear the entirety of Modern Yesterdays, Kaki King’s first new studio album in five years, since she dropped its astonishing first single, Teek, all the way back in May

Though we’ll have to wait one more day yet, Can't Touch This or That or You or My Face will more than tide us over for the time being. 

Ever-unpredictable, King does a brilliant head fake with the song’s smoothly futuristic and foreboding opening riff, one that almost brings Radiohead to mind. 

What unfurls afterwards is a gorgeously atmospheric, refreshing and percussive piece that finds King, as she always does, pushing the acoustic guitar’s boundaries in a quietly profound way. (JM)

Architects – Animals

In their first release since 2018’s Holy Hell, British metalcore champions Architects deliver bountiful melodicism and headbang-inducing chug in full force with Animals. The track sees the five-piece do away with screamed vocals entirely, opting instead for a cleaner arrangement.

Guitarists Josh Middleton and Adam Christianson offer tasteful palm-muted riffs throughout the track’s electronically-dominated instrumental arrangement, which includes pepperings of siren-esque samples and high-end pad sounds.

The duo’s place in the mix is thoughtful at all times, and that’s why we love this one from a guitar perspective. (SR)

Julien Baker – Faith Healer

Though some of us are still unwrapping the full, blunt-force emotional impact of Julien Baker’s majestic 2017 breakthrough, Turn Out the Lights, the Tennessee-born singer/songwriter is back to pierce our souls once again with Faith Healer, the first single from her upcoming LP, Little Oblivions.

As evidenced by her supremely underrated work with her pre-fame band Forrister – and, much more recently, boygenius – a muscular musical backing suits Baker well, and her choice to flesh out Faith Healer with a rhythm section is an inspired one.

Freed from the responsibility of carrying the song on its own (as it often has in her previous solo work) Baker’s guitar playing coils tightly and beautifully around her lyrics, which forthrightly tackle substance abuse, and the painful mental space it can occupy even for those who have managed to throw off its clutches. (JM)

Hollywood Undead – Heart Of A Champion (feat. Papa Roach & Ice Nine Kills)

Here’s the nu metal/hard rock/metalcore crossover collaboration you didn’t know you needed. The California five-piece has joined forces with Jacoby Shaddix and co. and horror metallers Ice Nine Kills on their latest single, Heart Of A Champion.

Featuring relatively simplistic guitar parts that slot perfectly in and amongst its electronically influenced arrangement, the track puts the stylistic tendencies of all three acts on full display, and we love it. (SR)

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – Tally-Ho

The lead single from the hard-rockin’ Australian quintet’s fourth album, SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound, Tally-Ho makes good on its stated promise to evoke “the classic fable of late night gonzo talks on copious amounts of chemical enthusiasm.”

Galloping along with huge sing-along hooks and a killer bass line, and punctuated by a charmingly off-the-wall solo, this is the perfect tear-the-roof-off rock anthem for a night out. (JM)

While She Sleeps – Sleeps Society

Continuing this week’s trend of digitally influenced hard rock/metal, While She Sleeps have unleashed Sleeps Society, a groundshaking banger that comes ahead of the band’s upcoming fifth studio album of the same name.

The release also comes with the Sheffield quintet's announcement of a powered-by-Patreon initiative, which will see them build a fan-based platform, enabling them to secure a concrete income amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sleeps Society features an array of audibly pleasing and complex riffs, delivered by guitarists Sean Long and Mat Welsh. Some interesting spatial processing and filtering during the breakdown make this one well worth the listen. (SR)

Foxanne – Doing It All

We’ve had our eyes on Foxanne, the project of singer/songwriter Chelsea Gohd, for awhile now, so we were super-excited when we heard that our wait for her full-length debut would soon be ending at last with December’s It's real (I knew it).

Why’re we excited, you ask? Give the album’s brand-new second single, Doing It All, a listen and it’ll soon be clear.

What leaps out at first, of course, are Foxanne's out-of-this-universe vocals. Almost impossibly exuberant, ping-ponging from whispers to shouts with gleeful, catch-me-if-you-can ease, they’ll puncture any lethargy or fatigue you might be carrying on your shoulders like a bolt of lightning. 

Further listens, and you’ll find yourself homing in on the equally delectable mountains of fuzz-encrusted four and six-string work that add up to make this a slice of booming indie-pop perfection that’ll grab you by the shoulders and shake life right back into you. (JM)

The Struts – Wild Child (feat. Tom Morello)

For anyone familiar with the Rage Against The Machine guitarist’s tone, you would likely hear the Morello guest spot here without any prior indication that he’s featured.

The Struts’ new full-length, Strange Days, sports an impressive list of guest appearances, including Robbie Williams, Def Leppard’s Phil Collen, Albert Hammond Jr and of course, Morello.

Amid a flurry of fuzz-driven riffs, the RATM man brings his uniquely stylized effects-drenched leads to the plate, rounding off this track as one of the record’s best. (SR)