The Glasgow quintet enters its third decade with stunning creativity—and volume.

Few bands have the staying power of Mogwai, the post-rock group formed two decades ago in Glasgow, Scotland. The mostly instrumental group, which borrows its name from creatures in the movie Gremlins, came together in 1995 when three friends—guitarists Stuart Braithwaite and Dominic Aitchison (now the band’s bassist), along with drummer Martin Bulloch—set out to create some intense guitar music. The trio enlisted an additional guitarist, John Cummings, and in 1996 released the self-pressed single “Tuner”/“Lower,” an oddball in the Mogwai catalog on account of its prominent vocals.

Mogwai added Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O’Hare to its lineup and in 1997 came out with a full-length debut, Mogwai Young Team, which established the group as a serious instrumental music quintet that could be both loud and introspective. O’Hare was swapped out for keyboardist Barry Burns, who appeared on Mogwai’s sophomore album, Come on Die Young (1999), and has been with the group ever since.

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