Glasgow, Scotland’s favorite musical sons will be visiting Portland again.

Touring in support of the jaw-droppingly good Mr. Beast (Matador Records), Mogwai will undoubtedly rock the Wonder Ballroom this Thursday evening.

Calling in from the road, the de facto leader of the ‘gwai sounded calm, cool and relaxed.

“We’re busy,” guitarist Stuart Braithwaite said. “But it’s a good busy. We like this new record, the shows have been good and it’s nice to play some loud rock songs again.”

Ah, loud rock songs.

It’s something that Mogwai was synonymous for in the mid-to-late 1990s.

LPs such as Young Team and Come on Die Young and the compilation Ten Rapid bridged the allure of shoe gazing with a distortion-thick heaviness that bands such as Explosions in the Sky would later exploit.

But at the same time that others began to cash in on the Mogwai formula, Braithwaite made a concerted effort to change his band’s sound.

Making a move towards quieter, more cinematic soundscapes (heavily influenced by electronica), Mogwai changed their musical scenery.

Songs began to lift and swirl, rather than dive and crash. And on albums such as Rock Action and Happy Music for Happy People, the band, while still sounding as interesting as ever, appeared to be in a comfort zone.

“I’d agree,” Braithwaite said. “I mean, I still like those albums. I do. But we were just into being quieter. Seeing where songs could go. Everyone had started to sound like us, too, so it was a bit annoying.”

And while Mr. Beast can’t exactly be called a “return to form,” there is no question that, for Mogwai, the rock is back. In spades.

Look no further than the LP’s second track, “Glasgow Mega-Snake.”

Absolutely crushing, the song is the heaviest song that Mogwai has recorded since “Christmas Steps” off of Come on Die Young.

“It’s funny, because I actually wrote that one on an acoustic,” Braithwaite said, laughing. “And when I wrote it, I was like, ‘Ooh, that’s heavy. I can’t do that.’ But then, when I transferred it over to the electric, I thought, ‘I have to do this.'”

Veering into the world of heavy metal, the track sounds like a full-on aerial assault. Countering the insane riffage are drums that hold onto the backbeat and then explode in roll after roll.

If Mogwai has a trademark sound, this is it.

“It’s nice to be able to rock again,” Braithwaite said. “We had just gotten so used to playing softly that we weren’t even thinking about it anymore. And the return has everyone in the band happy.”

So where did the inspiration come from? What brought the guitars back?

Braithwaite laughs out loud.

“Nothing really,” he said. “I really haven’t been listening to anything in particular; just The Smiths. That’s it. The Smiths are a good band. I’m not that impressed with anything that’s out there today. We just make our own rock music, for ourselves.”

And a glance at the band’s recent set lists is as exciting as blasting “Glasgow Mega-Snake” through your speakers.

Mixing in new tracks with classics (“Helicon 1,” “Summer,” “Stanley Kubrick”) is enough to make a fan drool.

“We’re gonna bring it,” Braithwaite said, again in laughter. “We love to. And we always do.”

Mogwai will play the Wonder Ballroom on May 26. Their new CD, Mr. Beast, is out now on Matador Records. They will also release a new EP on June 26.