As the weeks have quickly raced by in 2016, you may have found yourself searching for some hot new guitar sounds to fill your head with. Last month's edition of this column on the merits of guitar music could probably only fill so many of the minutes of this new year.

Fortunately, the flexibility of the guitar will once again be on full display here in this showcase of three terrific bands that put the instrument to superb use on their respective releases.


Weed Hounds

With just one full-length record, released in 2014, and a handful of smaller releases from prior years in their repertoire, Weed Hounds have been slow to reveal their hand. In fact, that one LP allegedly took five years to complete. But what the group lacks in released material, they more than make up for with the strength of it. In their hands, the realms of shoegaze and fuzz pop come together under one roof to form one unique and fully formed vision. Tracks such as the dreamy 'At Night' and the ironically stereo swirling 'Mono' offer a succinct preview of the lovely material coming from this group. And, despite my moaning about their lack of released material, they have recently announced they will be recording a new EP in March. So hop on board their bandwagon before their momentum really picks up because rest assured, Weed Hounds is bound for something truly great.


White Reaper

Straight out of Louisville, Ky., White Reaper are already on a sharp upward trajectory. Their second record, White Reaper Does It Again, was released last summer on Polyvinyl and their danceable form of pop-punk is an instant earworm. Top it off with delightfully tacky '70s keyboards and boundless charisma, and White Reaper seems destined for a major breakthrough. In fact, how singles like the ripper 'Make Me Wanna Die' and the bouncy 'I Don't Think She Cares' have evaded significant alt radio play is beyond me. But White Reaper has clearly stumbled upon a novel form of a familiar formula that makes them immensely fun to listen to, especially at loud volumes.


Natural Child

Described by the members of Twin Peaks and Steep Leans as "the best band in the world right now," the trio of gentlemen who comprise Natural Child have some impressive co-signs from within the music industry. But these endorsements have not been without merit as their throwback rock and roll sound is truly one of the best around. The Nashville-based group has been carefully honing their Southern rock sound, filling out their sound with pedal steel and keys in recent releases. And even as they continue to press onward, they have evolved carefully and been sure never to forget what means the most to them--namely having a good time with friends. Natural Child is the perfect soundtrack to an American-style good time, shitty beer and all.