A DECADE or so back, one writer noted how he was “struck by what a miserable portrait [Mogwai] paint of Scotland”.

For others, the swirling, stuttering noise Mogwai made was Scottish certainly, but not necessarily miserable. This was music for drinking cider in a bus shelter, smirring rain chilling your cheeks. Alienated maybe, but not without a sense of mystery and the tiniest glint of glamour. Yes, Mogwai can be serious – sullen even – but they’re also daftie absurdists, searching cosmic-rockers, ambient soundscapers and a bunch of guys who sometimes just wanna rock out. Ever-dependable survivors of Glasgow’s fruitful mid-1990s music scene, they’ve amassed twelve EPs, four compilations, five soundtracks, two remix LPs and a live album. Every Country’s Sun is their ninth full length studio effort. We revisit the previous eight and a couple of other releases below.

Mogwai Young Team, (Chemikal Underground), 1997

Loading article content

Still sounding phenomenal 20 years on, their debut was avant-garde but accessible, an eloquent meld of fury and fragility featuring Aidan Moffat’s despairing R U Still In 2 It and the frantic wonder of Mogwai Fear Satan.

The National:

No Education = No Future (F**k The Curfew) EP, (Chemikal Underground), 1998

Mogwai have never been politically anonymous. When a curfew, or “child safety initiative” was imposed on under-16s in Lanarkshire, it made world headlines and was debated at the UN. Mogwai responded with this EP, its lead track Xmas Steps a tangle of counter-melodies, jagged rhythms and the unexpected beauty of novelist Luke Sutherland’s violin.

The National:

Come On Die Young, (Chemikal Underground), 1999

The first album with multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns, and the first of two consecutive albums to be produced by Dave Fridmann, a man once described as the “Phil Spector of the alt-rock era”, the more reserved Come On Die Young opened with Punk Rock, a brooding dude of a track featuring a typically badass speech from Iggy Pop.

The National:

Rock Action, (PIAS), 2001

It was another Stooge, drummer Scott “Rock Action” Asheton whom Mogwai namechecked with their third record, a more electronic, less rocking effort featuring 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong, a nine-minute epic with chanting from god-amongst-men Gruff Rhys and members of Astrid and Snow Patrol.

The National:

Happy Songs For Happy People, (PIAS), 2003

Grand but restrained – too restrained for some – their Tony Doogan-produced, sardonically-titled fourth album did feel properly grim at times.

The National:

Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996–2003, (PIAS), 2005

A compilation of live tracks recorded for the Beeb dedicated to John Peel for whose show the band recorded seven sessions. The band return to Maida Vale on October 3 to play from Every Country's Sun as part of BBC Radio 6 Music Live.

The National:

Mr Beast, (PIAS), 2006

At times sparkling, even serene, when Mogwai did turn up the dials here things were swift and nasty; a punch to the innards like vicious live favourite Glasgow Mega-Snake. Creation Records head Alan McGee foamed it was “probably the best art rock album I’ve been involved with since [My Bloody Valentine’s 1991 classic] Loveless”.

The National:

The Hawk Is Howling, (Wall Of Sound), 2008

Working with producer Andy Miller for the first time in a decade, this exclusively instrumental record was also their biggest-sounding – until Every Country’s Sun. Diverse as well as expansive, the poppy The Sun Is Too Loud contrasts with the bludgeoning metal of Batcat.

The National:

Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, (Rock Action), 2011

Sleek and sinewy, Hardcore, their first album on their own Rock Action label, often echoed cosmic rock heroes Neu! in tracks such as How To Be A Werewolf and Mexican Grand Prix, a sublime throb set to a video featuring hundreds of Glaswegians. It also features the bass-driven trundle of George Square Thatcher Death Party, two years before one happened.

The National:

Rave Tapes, (Rock Action), 2014

Recorded in the months after their soundtrack for French undead drama Les Revenants, Rave Tapes is cold, slow burning and creepy as hell. The militaristic Deesh is Jason and The Argonauts’s skeleton army made electronic and ruthlessly unstoppable.

The National:

__________________________________________________________

Sanctuary & Salve: Every Country's Sun offered Mogwai a short-lived escape from the horrors of the modern world

__________________________________________________________