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From metal heavyweights to hot funk ’n’ roll: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Joe Bonamassa
(Image credit: Future)

Here at Guitar World, we’ve had our ears perked up for the hottest six-string releases of the last seven days - and we've done our darndest to round them up for you right here.

This week, we’ve got fiery and melodic new tracks from Atlanta heavy merchants Mastodon, a new down-tempo release from bluesman Joe Bonamassa, and the first taste of Kiss legend Ace Frehley’s upcoming cover album, to name a few.

With no genre out of the question, there’s certain to be something here that'll float your presumably guitar-shaped boat. So sit back, put the guitar down (or play along!) and prepare to be inspired.

Joe Bonamassa - Why Does It Take So Long to Say Goodbye

Though he could easily rest on his laurels with his status as - according to many - the world’s best living blues guitarist, Joe Bonamassa makes records and changes stylistic gears at a clip that puts even the most productive of musicians to shame.

His latest full-length, the Abbey Road-recorded Royal Tea, is a tribute to Bonamassa’s British blues-rock heroes - Beck, Clapton and Mayall among them.

Its second single, Why Does It Take So Long to Say Goodbye, fits the mission statement of the album perfectly. ’Burst (a ’59, we assume) in hand, JoBo delivers stinging, tortured leads that punctuate the song’s slow-burning first half, before turning up the heat (and tempo) for a blistering solo over the track’s decidedly Page-esque second half. Sit back and watch the man do what he does best. (JM)

Mastodon - Fallen Torches

The latest effort from Brent Hinds and co. comes ahead of the upcoming Medium Rarities compilation album, which will include a live version of Metallica’s Orion, a Flaming Lips cover and several noteworthy guest appearances, amongst a host of other material.

Fallen Torches - which features Neurosis’s Scott Kelly - is quintessentially Mastodon, with a slightly heavier take than we’ve seen from the four-piece as of late. With a concrete main riff and stunning guitar melodies throughout, this is the metal highlight of the week, no question. (SR)

South of Eden - Dancing With Fire

These hard-rocking Ohioans were formerly known as Black Coffee, but one thing that hasn’t changed is their propensity for rock in its most classical sense.

Dancing With Fire fuses Led Zeppelin bombast with the feelgood, Friday night vibe of DLR-era Van Halen, offering plenty of opportunities for Berklee-trained shredder Justin Young to let rip with some mean chromatic runs and two-hand tapping on his shell-pink Charvel. Greta Van Fleet ain’t the only band bringing back classic-rock back to the forefront. (MAB)

JD Simo - Love

The Nashville singer-songwriter’s gritty take on funk ’n’ roll melds two of the ’60s’ most influential artists - Motown session band The Funk Brothers and Jimi Hendrix - for an irresistible six-string concoction.

Love plays host to Simo’s vocal wah-wah chops and big pentatonic riffs, before he unleashes some altogether contemporary staccato stabs that border on Tom Morello noisecapades. It’s familiar yet fresh. We dig. (MAB)

Lomelda - It’s Infinite 

Over the past few years, Texas native Hannah Read has quietly built up one of the more impressive catalogs in the always large and amorphous singer/songwriter genre under the Lomelda name. 

Rolling gently and gorgeously along with the homespun charm of the best folk music, It’s Infinite - the second single from her upcoming Lomelda album, Hannah - will win you over in a heartbeat with its beautifully melodic fingerpicking, plaintive piano and Read’s affecting vocal performance. A therapeutic listen for today’s unsettled world, this. (JM)

Marilyn Manson - WE ARE CHAOS

It’s no original statement to say that Marilyn Manson's tastes have veered towards the eccentric. And while words of his unorthodoxy are often attributed to his image, Manson’s musical tendencies remain ever-surprising.

Dropping the title track of his newly announced 11th studio album, We Are Chaos, Manson visits a more melodic songwriting style, with a particularly Beatles-esque arrangement consisting of a backdrop of acoustic guitar supporting his hallmark vocal style. Hauntingly dreamy. (SR)

Ace Frehley - Space Truckin’

This week, the Kiss icon debuted the first single from Origins Vol. 2, the cover-album follow-up to 2016’s Vol. 1, bravely tackling Deep Purple’s Space Truckin’.

Frehley’s big-bottomed Les Paul tone lends the track an altogether chunkier tone, while his frenetic solo - complete with pick slides and toggle-switching - puts a very Spaceman stamp on the Blackmore classic. (MAB)

Hot Milk - California’s Burning

Manchester’s Hot Milk have a sound that’s hard to pin down, which makes them tremendous fun to listen to.

The group’s latest single California’s Burning is a guitar-driven sonic riot mirrored in its powerful anti-establishment lyrics, with the band stating: "This is a rally cry against greed and the ruling class that so desperately cling to control the freethinkers and the good hearted." Whatever your politics, it's a bracing listen. (SR)

Udi Glaser - Flying

GW contributor and London-based guitarist-composer Udi Glaser has previously focused on world music, but turns his hand to rock with this Satriani-esque instrumental, taken from new album, Love Blue Electric.

Full of exotic modal melodic ideas, the track builds to an outro that features more than 100 guitar tracks, according to Glaser. Props for the utterly surreal video, too. (MAB)

Gardening - Second Sight

There’s a ’90s indie-rock revival underway right now, and London four-piece Gardening have squeezed the genre’s quintessential elements - chiming guitars and well-honed melodies with a slacker delivery - into this summer lockdown jam.

Recorded on all-analog gear, Second Sight evokes the sonic template of the era its band members so admire, bolstered by guitarists Niall Rush and Adam Smith’s spectrum-spanning Jazzmaster and Les Paul combo. (MAB)