The 10 Best Guitar Tracks to Hear This Week

This week’s playlist features forgotten recordings, new reissues and monster riffery


Image: Eleanor Jane

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Reigns by IDLES

Another single from the Bristolian band’s acclaimed third LP on Partisan Records, it begins with a monstrous bass riff that twists around the snare drum, before bellowing into the chorus with pulsating, glistening guitars and the odd bit of ring-modulator thrown in for good measure.

The Bandit by Kings Of Leon

The southern Strokes return with the first single from their forthcoming eighth LP. Opening with an off-kilter indie guitar riff that could have been lifted straight from the outtakes of ‘Because Of The Times’, it soon moves into a more melodic, stadium-sized track that’s been the cornerstone of the band’s sound for nearly a decade.

Beautiful Soul by Katy J Pearson

Bristolian songstress Katy J Pearson released her debut LP last year to critical acclaim, and it’s great to hear one of the stand-out tracks released as a single in its own right. Melancholic apreggiated chords and driving acoustics propel Pearson’s exquisite vocals.

Nigel Hitter by shame

Taken from their guttural and forthright new album, ‘Drunk Tank Pink’, it gives more weight to the notion that shame are the best guitar band in the country right now. Melding Talking Heads rhythms with Billy Bragg-esque vocal delivery, the band have also drawn on the influence of their peers Squid and Girl Band and discovered a refreshing new sound for 2021.

Believer by Black Honey

Set to appear on the band’s upcoming album ‘Written & Directed’, the band’s first release of the year features percussive acoustic guitars, reverb-drenched surf guitar and brass. Speaking of the new LP, lead singer and guitarist Izzy B. Phillips said that she “made this record for young women to feel invincible”.

No Son Of Mine by Foo Fighters

Grohl and co have released the second single from ‘Minutes To Midnight’, the band’s highly-anticipated new album. More akin to a traditional Foos song than the previous release, it features a brutal, descending riff akin to QOTSA. Skip to 2:20 for the best southern boogie impression you’ve heard in years. A return to form from everyone’s favourite rock band.

Long Tailed Winter Bird by Paul McCartney

Predominantly instrumental throughout, aside from a brief vocal break around halfway, the opener to McCartney III begins with muted acoustic strumming and a sprightly Eastern-tinged riff, it’s a surprising piece of exploratory sound collaging that twists and turns stylistically. Read our review here.

Bajikise Bops by Makgona Tsohle Band

Reissued on British label Umsakazo Records, aiming to shine a light on the importance and sounds of South African music, the opening track on Makgona Tsohle Reggi weaves a 50s rock ‘n’ roll melody with distinct, African rhythms and a ska feel. True, uplifting instrumental guitar music in all its glory.

Charming Mess by The Black Crowes

An unreleased demo that’s now been made available alongside the reissue of their 1990 album ‘Shake your Money Maker’. “We had plenty of hit songs on that record; I guess we didn’t need it,” Chris Robinson says of the track in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.

Waiting In Line by Kiwi Jr.

Opening with a sweet melody on 12-string guitar, the band offer up even more evidence that ‘Cooler Returns’ is set to be one of the best releases of 2021. Reminiscent of a forgotten 70s classic, its fairground piano and bouncing rhythms are prefect for blowing away the January blues.


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