From one of this year's heaviest riffs to technically dazzling collaborations: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Black Belt Eagle Scout perform onstage at Co-Sign during SXSW 2019 on March 15, 2019 in Austin, Texas
Black Belt Eagle Scout (Image credit: Diego Donamaria/Getty Images/SXSW)

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.

Enter Shikari – Bull (feat. Cody Frost)

What is it? The second standalone single in 2022 from British electro-rock mainstays, Enter Shikari. Aided by Wargasm on The Void Stares Back – which arrived back in August – Rou Reynolds, Chris Batten, Rory Clewlow and Rob Rolfe are this time joined by rising UK punk singer, Cody Frost.

Standout guitar moment: Electronic elements make up the bulk of Bull’s arrangement, but Clewlow offers a layer of distortion-heavy electric guitar behind Reynolds and Frost’s vocal sparring that the track would simply be missing without.

For fans of: Architects, While She Sleeps, Don Broco

Sam Roche

Sanguisugabogg – Pissed

What is it? Ohio’s favorite death-metal brutalizers are back with their latest drop-G head-caver. Taken from next year’s Homicidal Ecstasy, Pissed is as uncompromising an onslaught as we’ve heard from the band, which is reassuring given the departure of guitarist Cameron Boggs last summer.

Standout guitar moment: Name a heavier riff to emerge this year. No, don’t worry – we’ll wait. [Three months pass] Told you.

For fans of: Creeping Death, Napalm Death, Undeath

– Michael Astley-Brown

Babymetal – Monochrome

What is it? The latest single from Babymetal’s forthcoming concept album, The Other One. Boasting a similar vibe to the duo’s last single, Divine Attack – Shingeki, Monochrome tastefully straddles the line between heavy – with rapid, double kick-driven palm-muted chugs – and subtler, more melodic sections, in which the guitars drop out to allow the vocal talents of Su-metal and Moametal to shine amid electronic beats and enveloping pads.

Standout guitar moment: Offering the girls a break from vocal duties, lead guitar takes center stage from the 1:33 mark, with a simple yet elevating melodic solo line.

For fans of: BAND-MAID, LADYBABY

Sam Roche

Fall – Ichika Nito and Marcin 

What is it? When discussing the players taking the guitar to the next level, Ibanez signature artists Ichika Nito and Marcin immediately spring to mind. As such, it’s no surprise their new collaborative single, Fall, contains some of the most melodic-yet-technical playing we’ve seen in 2022.

It’s only 65 seconds long, but these social media stars are used to cramming their fretboard pyrotechnics into short-form videos, meaning Fall features plenty of exquisite guitar work to sink your teeth into

Standout guitar moment: The quick call-and-response passage shows off each player’s individual skills, but the track peaks when their unique electric and acoustic styles come together at the 30 second mark.

For fans of: Polyphia, Manuel Gardner Fernandes

– Matt Owen

Black Belt Eagle Scout – My Blood Runs Through This Land

What is it? The fierce opening cut from Katherine Paul’s new album as Black Belt Eagle Scout, The Land, The Water, The Sky. The new LP centers around Paul’s 2020 journey from Portland, Oregon back to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Washington, where she was raised. My Blood Runs Through This Land is a distortion-soaked rumination on Paul’s journey, and the powerful, visceral connection she feels with her Indigenous ancestors.

Standout guitar moment: Paul puts her Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent signature guitar to fantastic use throughout. Her tone in general is phenomenally gritty, but the single-note leads that break through after the first verse take top prize. Paul lets every note breathe and shine, letting them express both the tender familial connections and tragic history that live within the song.

For fans of: Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Dinosaur Jr. 

Jackson Maxwell

Dead Daisies – Born To Fly

What is it? The Glenn Hughes-fronted rock collective’s latest hard-driving single is an ode to rhythm guitarist David Lowy’s love of flying, and Born to Fly certainly has a whiff of the Top Guns about it, but updated with a blockbuster audio production, as Lowy and Doug Aldrich trade tight vibrato-laden riffs and wailing leads.

Standout guitar moment: The true art of a riff is in delivering a big hook with minimal notes – and Born To Fly more than meets that remit.

For fans of: Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Black Country Communion

– Michael Astley-Brown

L.S. Dunes – 2022

What is it? The opening track from Supergroup L.S. Dunes’ debut album, Past Lives. Comprising My Chemical Romance’s Frank Iero, Coheed & Cambria’s Travis Stever, Circa Survive’s Anthony Green and Thursday’s Tim Payne and Tucker Rule, the collective is brimming with creative potential, which comes to fruition plentifully on 2022.

Blending elements of punk and hardcore, 2022 finds Iero and Stever trading dirty powerchords and intricately inserted arpeggiated leads throughout. You can even try your hand at learning it, as Iero and Stever shot a lesson video for Guitar World earlier this week.

Standout guitar moment: Both guitarists jostle in the soundscape from the 2:06 mark with unique leads that intertwine with one another to perfection.

For fans of: Circa Survive, Frank Iero and the Future Violents

Sam Roche

Troy Redfern – Mercy 

What is it? A slide-heavy new single from Hard Rock Hell’s newly crowned Blues Artist of the Year, which puts on display everything that makes prolific singer-guitarist Troy Redfern such a potent force in the blues rock world. Taking a classic rock-inspired turn, Redfern puts his slide and soloing skills to the test in Mercy, splicing together tasty tones and even tastier riffs.

Standout guitar moment: The swampy slides stake a claim, but the solo at the 2:12 mark – with its whole-note-and-then-some bends and pentatonic frolics – slightly edges it.

For fans of: Marcus King, AC/DC

– Matt Owen

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Mr Medicine

What is it? Old-school Sabbath acolytes Pigs x7 tap into fuzz tones as audacious as their outfits for this rollocking single. As guitarist and producer Sam Grant describes it, Mr Medicine is “a sonic arrow, purposefully succinct with no fat and no detours”. In terms of distilling the Pigs x7 sound into two-and-a-half minutes of pure psychedelic riffdom, we’d hail it as a resounding success.

Standout guitar moment: That cheeky little lick at each chorus turnaround. We’re total suckers for stuff like that.

For fans of: Sleep, Monolord, Ufomammut

– Michael Astley-Brown

Nadine Khouri – Keep On Pushing These Walls

What is it? The beguiling new single from the London-by-way-of-Beirut singer/songwriter’s new album, Another Life. A tribute to the late singer Lhasa de Sela, Keep On Pushing These Walls is a thing of beauty, a gently swinging tribute touched by sadness, hope, and a sense of discovery.

Standout guitar moment: Khouri’s textural guitar work beautifully colors the edges of this tune, which is driven by bass and a drum machine. The colorful, scene-setting lick that begins at 1:57 is particularly evocative. 

For fans of: St. Vincent, Faye Webster, Khruangbin

Jackson Maxwell

Love U Better – Brad Stank, Freak Slug 

What is it? A three-minute psychedelic fever dream created by the creative minds of up-and-coming indie artists Brad Stank and Freak Slug. With Stank serving up his trademark slow jazz vocals and Freak Slug – aka Xenya Genovese – delivering a healthy helping of modulation-drenched guitar work from her Farida Strat copy, Love U Better makes for an ultimate end-of-week chill-out soundtrack.

Standout guitar moment: The magic of Love U Better’s guitar ensemble is in the way its various parts – textural hammer-ons, modulation-soaked progressions and acoustic flourishes – serve the bigger picture. This is most clear in the track’s dreamy closing stages, from the 2:20 mark onward.

For fans of: Tame Impala, JW Francis, Daste

– Matt Owen

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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.