Skip to main content

From serene acoustic duets to sizzling drop-tuned action: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Matt Tuck performs with Bullet for My Valentine at the Resurrection Festival on June 29, 2022 in Viveiro, 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.

Tommy Emmanuel and Mike Dawes – Fields of Gold 

What is it? A cover of Sting’s 1993 track Fields of Gold, and the second single from Accomplice Series Vol. 3 – the latest collaborative effort from acoustic virtuosos Tommy Emmanuel and Mike Dawes. The lead single, a thrilling rendition of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, gave us a taste of what's to come from the album, and Fields of Gold once again proves the pair’s exceptional musical partnership is a genuine force to be reckoned with. The tones are immaculate, the technique is exquisite and the final result is one of the duo’s best efforts yet.

Standout guitar moment: The emotive grand finale, which is the culmination of almost three minutes of intense acoustic strumming courtesy of Dawes and a fretboard-spanning solo via Emmanuel.

For fans of: Marcin Patrzalek, Sting

– Matt Owen

Alter Bridge – Silver Tongue

What is it? The second single from Alter Bridge’s forthcoming seventh album Pawns & Kings. Following the record’s title track, Silver Tongue is a masterclass in impactful riffwork, with both Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy forgoing any leads to double up on the track’s sizzling drop-tuned low-string antics.

Standout guitar moment: It’s gotta be that absolutely chonky intro riff, hasn’t it? It shows that power is in simplicity, and is likely to be one of the standout riffs on the band’s forthcoming album.

For fans of: Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry

Sam Roche

Chat Pile – Pamela

What is it? In the week since its release, God's Country – the first full-length from Oklahoma City noise-rockers Chat Pile – has built up quite a bit of buzz. Filled as it is with visceral, lurching and explosive tracks like Pamela, it’s easy to see what the hype is all about.

Standout guitar moment: Brutality might be the name of the game for this band, but Pamela has a strong melodic core, best expressed in the eerie, single-note-based riff that sets the tone for the song early on.

For fans of: Joy Division, Big Black, Molchat Doma

Jackson Maxwell

The 1975 – Happiness 

What is it? Indie rock stalwarts The 1975 raised quite a few eyebrows when they ditched chorus-drenched guitar leads and electro-pop vocals in favor of an orchestral instrumentation for Part of the Band, the first single from their upcoming album, Being Funny In a Foreign Language. Second single Happiness, though, rekindles the group’s relationship with the above, bringing snappy six-string motifs, dancing basslines and ‘80s-esque keyboard progressions to the table. The songwriting chops are cut above, too, with frontman Matty Healy seemingly on top form heading into the new LP.

Standout guitar moment: At the 2:36 mark, Healy rests his vocals and gives the floor to the guitar, which delivers a classically 1975-style, lick-laden interlude via a subtle acoustic guitar. We imagine this section, which is soon joined by the sax, will be significantly cranked up for the live versions, though.

For fans of: Beabadoobee, Dayglow, The Night Cafe

– Matt Owen

Lorna Shore – Cursed to Die

What is it? The third single from the New Jersey deathcore stalwarts forthcoming album, Pain Remains. Like the previously released Sun//Eater and Into the Earth, Cursed to Die is both brutal and expansive, painting a sprawling sonic soundscape with a series of melodic and gut-punching drop-tuned electric guitar riffs.

Standout guitar moment: Adam De Micco’s solo from the 3:29 mark brings a healthy dose of melodic respite after the three minutes of pure chaos that precedes it.

For fans of: Fit For an Autopsy, Make Them Suffer, Slaughter to Prevail

Sam Roche

Boris – My Name Is Blank

What is it? Fuzzed-up eighth-note hardcore punk from the protean Japanese noise-rock stalwarts, and it’s relentless – a sugar rush that won’t quit, not that you’d want it to. Indeed, it’s a song for the weekend. Guitarist Wata is already drinking wine in the video while Takeshi works an insistent melody on his custom First Act double-neck electric-and-bass guitar.

Standout guitar moment: There’s a guitar solo that’s pretty cool. The melody is pretty cool. But if you sum all of this together it’s the sound, the energy, the vibe, and most of all the guitar tones that will get you. 

Boris are nothing if not epicurean when it comes to the sound of the electric guitar, and the little rituals from which we draw such great satisfaction. Like at the start of the video, when Wata switches on her OR-120 head and there’s the satisfying pop of a powerful tube amp coming to life. That stuff sustains us; it nourishes the soul.

For fans of: Melvins, Sunn O))), Jesu

Bullet For My Valentine – No More Tears to Cry

What is it? A new single from Bridgend, Wales metal mainstays, Bullet For My Valentine, and one which finds them harking back to the riff-driven, emotive sound of their 2005 debut, The Poison. Showcasing their long-honed songwriting prowess, No More Tears to Cry finds Matt Tuck and co bouncing effortlessly between massive electric guitar riffs and softer acoustic-driven bars, with some singalong-worthy vocal hooks thrown in for good measure.

Standout guitar moment: That recurring guitar riff that is introduced at the 0:15 reminds us of early Hand of Blood-era Bullet, and activates our nostalgia like nothing else in the song.

For fans of: Atreyu, As I Lay Dying, Trivium

Sam Roche

Winter – atonement (ft. Hatchie)

What is it? The new single from What Kind Of Blue Are You?, the forthcoming album from LA-based singer/songwriter Samira Winter. Featuring Harriette Pilbeam (who performs under the name Hatchie) and Joe Agius, atonement is a shoegazey gem, built upon a glitched-out beat, bubbly synths and an infectious bubblegum-pop chorus.

Standout guitar moment: That woozy whammy bar work. You can hear it from the very first bar, and – aside from adding a layer of dreaminess to the proceedings – it pulls the eager synths and beat back a little bit. A perfect balance.

For fans of: My Bloody Valentine, Alvvays, Cocteau Twins

– Jackson Maxwell

City of Caterpillar – Decider

What is it? Decider is a new track shared ahead of the release of the recently reunited Richmond, VA post-hardcore group’s forthcoming album, Mystic Sisters. Said album is the band’s first in 20 years, and if this is anything to go by then it is going to be an angry, skronky difficult noise record that pokes and prods the inner ear in search of your pressure points.

Standout guitar moment: It’s probably when the squall of noise abates into an ethereal middle eight, an arpeggiated dreamscape and moment of relief – but more than that, an opportunity for City of Caterpillar to expand the dynamics, to take us from frenzy to rest and back again, to show their adventurism. Brandon Evans and Jeff Kane’s guitar tones are perfectly voiced for this material.

For fans of: pg. 99, System 2600, Majority Rule, Mogwai, Godspeed! You Black Emperor

– Jonathan Horsley

Cecil Alexander – Shrug 

What is it? Berklee College of Music is no stranger to having an ace guitar player associated with it: John Mayer and Tomo Fujita, of course, immediately spring to mind. However, we need to add Cecil Alexander to that list, too. The college’s assistant professor’s new single, Shrug, showcases the virtuoso's mind-melting jazz skills, which followers of his will no doubt be aware of. Simply put, it's perhaps one of the best displays of bebop prowess and sophistication we’ve heard thus far in 2022.

Standout guitar moment: It’s hard to pick, but the extended solo effort that follows the 0:54 mark probably takes it. Throughout its almost two-minute runtime, Alexander delivers Houdini-like turnarounds, surgically precise scale navigation and a sizzling run at the 2:22 point.

For fans of: Julian Lage, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass

– Matt Owen

Black Anvil – Castrum Doloris

What is it? The long-awaited return of the NYC black metal band whose personnel otherwise have occupied themselves in a projects that would be more traditionally associated with the Big Apple, namely hardcore. In some respects, black metal from the largest city on the eastern seaboard makes perfect sense. 

There are no fjords, but the vertiginous skyline, the isolation that can come from life in the metropolis, that has a certain Nordic aspect to it. Sonically, this is second wave black metal, an uptempo scream into the abyss.

Standout guitar moment: The melody that insinuates itself at the end underneath some clean and faintly ecclesiastical vocals. The song needed that. 

For fans of: Goatwhore, Absu, Watain 

– Jonathan Horsley

Suede – 15 Again

What is it? The second tune we’ve heard thus far from the British glam-rock institution’s upcoming album, Autofiction. Frontman Brett Anderson puts on a hell of a performance, imbuing the nostalgic song with all the drama and yearning one feels when they’re that formative age.

Standout guitar moment: That rather Billy Duffy-esque opening riff is certainly a contender, but those squeals of feedback guitarist Richard Oakes gets before the third line in both verses? Now that’s just plain cool.

For fans of: The Cult, Johnny Marr, The Stone Roses

Jackson Maxwell

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.