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Hear Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil tear it up on new The Pretty Reckless track Only Love Can Save Me Now

Death by Rock and Roll, the new album from The Pretty Reckless, dropped today, and with it, Taylor Momsen and co’s long-awaited collaboration with Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron.

Only Love Can Save Me Now features several signature Soundgarden traits, with an opening riff in 7/4, a range of modal motifs and nearly a full minute of wailing, wah-drenched Thayil leads.

Kim Thayil and Taylor Momsen perform onstage during I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell at The Forum on January 16, 2019 in Inglewood, California.

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Chris Cornell Estate)

Momsen had previously performed with Soundgarden at 2019’s all-star tribute to Chris Cornell, but as for how her band’s recording debut with Thayil and Cameron came about, she told Guitar World, “I had this song and called them up saying it was begging for them to play on it, sounding very much in their vein. Basically I told them, ‘If you’re not on it, we’ll just sound like we’re ripping you off [laughs]!’

“We flew to Seattle and recorded at London Bridge Studio, which is where so many iconic records were made like Louder Than Love, Pearl Jam’s Ten. I think it was their first time back since Louder Than Love so it was a cool moment for them to reflect on everything and amazing for me to see this song coming to life.

“They’re so great, they elevate everything they touch. Kim is a master – there’s no-one else like him.”

Thayil isn’t the only guitar legend who crops up on Death by Rock and Roll – standout single And So It Went plays host to the trademark Whammy squeals of Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Digital Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World, having spent nine storied years contributing to guitar journalism and a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). He has written and edited for MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, and makes prog-ish instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.