When they burst on the scene with their debut self-titled record, And So I Watch You From Afar were a revelation.
Frenetic math-rock influenced punk instrumentals with titles like Set Guitars To Kill, Start A Band and Don't Waste Time Doing Things You Hate were a wake-up call for the post-rock genre, and the band rode high on their unique sound.
Their fifth album, The Endless Shimmering, boasts some of their most grandiose, powerful riffing yet, so ahead of a summer tour of the UK and Ireland, we caught up with guitarists Rory Friers and Niall Kennedy to find out who their favourite players are, in no particular order...
And So I Watch You From Afar play 2000 Trees on 12-14 July 2018 - tickets are available now.
1. Robert Fripp (King Crimson)
Rory Friers: "My dad was mad into his '70s progressive rock and I remember him playing me 21st Century Schizoid Man, which had just this unbelievable bit of musicianship from the band, and the tightness of Robert Fripp's playing to the rhythm section was just mind-boggling.
"I just listened to that record loads. He went on to work with some of my favourite people, like Brian Eno and David Bowie, and he performed in Heroes. You know that beautiful little guitar line that goes through the whole song, that kind of layered-up guitar line? That was Robert Fripp, too.
"He's popped in and out throughout my life in some of my favourite songs. He's great, super-innovative and very exciting to listen to."
2. John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Niall Kennedy: "He played in the Chilis, who sound nothing like us, and my style is nothing like his, but his solos more than his funk stuff are extremely impressive to me.
"The day after I passed my driving test I drove to Slane and we went to this big concert at Slane Castle and the Chili Peppers played. It was a just fucking amazing experience. They improvised some songs off the top of their heads and it was just kind of mind-blowing.
"You know that phrase 'the guitar is an extension of your body'? He seems to express himself so effortlessly."
3. Eric Bell (Thin Lizzy)
Rory: "There's a guitar solo that he did on a song called The Rocker which is hands-down my favourite passage of guitar playing I think I've ever heard.
"The solo lasts for about four minutes, and I could sing every single note and bend of the whole thing, I've listened to it so many times. It's just, the tone of his guitar and how it's just staying in the same groove as the rhythm section, but how he spans through all these little passages of playing. Each one is completely its own little world, you know?
"It made me realise that if you're imaginative enough, without lots of effects pedals, you can make something super-exciting and it doesn't feel self-indulgent. It feels like every note matters, and there's even a couple of times where it kind of sounds like he's made a little mistake, but he just ploughs on through. It's live and raw and just class."
4. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (At the Drive-In, The Mars Volta)
Niall: "There's a show he played, on Later With Jools Holland, when At The Drive-In played their first show there, I think it was like, early 2000s, and they played One Armed Scissor. It was this life-changing moment for me.
"I remember seeing it on TV and just being completely blown away by what I was seeing. Even his guitar was pretty much completely out of tune... I kind of didn't really know what I was looking at. I was consumed by it. His guitar was really cool, too, and I ended up getting a similar guitar to the one he played, years later.
"He's just in his own world, he does his own thing, he's just surfing that line between in tune and totally out of tune, with so many effects that you almost can't hear the guitar, but at the same time, these unbelievable melodies.
"A few years ago, we ended up touring with this band called Zechs Marquise, and three of the guys in that band are his brothers, and so we became extremely close with them and we ended up staying in their family home and hanging out with their dad... I just remember there being like, a thousand guitar pedals all over their house from his collection. It was surreal in many ways, but it was great."
5. Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead)
Rory: "I was a big fan growing up, and I mean he - well, Radiohead in general, they're all great guitarists - but Jonny Greenwood in particular, he treated his guitar very irreverently.
"They pulled and scraped and scratched at the guitars, and their use of effects and invention was totally one of the things that got me interested in effects pedals and digging into my amp and experimenting with different sounds I could get, and the different things I could do with a guitar.
"The thing that Radiohead have always done very successfully is that everything is always done so tastefully. When they decide to use effects, it just serves the song and elevates it into a different thing - they don't just slather everything for the sake of it. That's something I always tried to bear in mind whenever I had that excitement of buying a bunch of new effects pedals and [got] that temptation to put them on everything."
6. Elliott Smith
Niall: "I remember going and getting Figure 8 and... I'd never really heard anything quite like it. I guess he's known for his acoustic stuff way more, but Figure 8 and his electric playing translated really well to me. It kind of reminded me of The Kinks in places, you know, the bands I grew up with and that my dad played a lot.
"There was just something to his guitar playing, these familiar elements, but he would just take it to places you weren't expecting."
7. Daniel Rossen (Grizzly Bear)
Rory: "His chord work and the way that he structures songs, the way that he combines them with his vocals, and the way that he moves around, his tone, it's just so gorgeous.
"They're a band who I've been obsessed with since their first album and when their second album came out... it just sounded completely otherworldly. It feels like Daniel's parts on that are really massively responsible for the feel of my favourite songs on there.
"The way he's able to play the parts and sing, and y'know, amalgamate it all into this one thing... I went to see them live recently and it was a masterclass, just absolutely fantastic. Again, his subtle use of effects, and the tone of his amp and the vintage guitars they use, it's such a beautiful combination."
8. Troy Van Leeuwen (QOTSA, A Perfect Circle, Failure)
Niall: "I was going to say Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age... but from watching them live so many times - we got to play with them at Benicassim in Spain - and watching from the side of the stage you see the band really close up and get a massive appreciation for Troy, and what he was adding.
"Troy Van Leeuwen, he's kind of like their secret weapon; he just seems to be filling all the space in between what Josh is doing and he's the guy that's doing all the haunting, crazy slide with loads of reverb and delay on it."
9. Ian MacKaye / Guy Picciotto (Fugazi)
Rory: "Fugazi's albums and songs, them along with other bands of that era, were some of the first bands I listened to that combined the stuff I loved about experimental music, and music that was maybe a bit more in the art scene, with the other music that I loved, which was punk-rock and that ethos and attitude.
"Bands like Fugazi and At The Drive-In really amalgamated those two worlds for me. I grew up listening to King Crimson and Led Zeppelin, and these kind of bands that had some kind of virtuosity to them, but then where my heart really lay was with the scene that I grew up playing in, which was the punk and grunge scene... It was vital and addictive and cool, and it made me want to pick up my guitar and look at it a bit differently, and see what I could make it do...
"That wasn't just me having to learn chords or learn scales, which I've never done. It's guys like Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto that showed me that door, in a way."
10. Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs)
Niall: "To many people I guess he's like, this massive pop star, but he's still an incredible guitar player. I mean, it was the first time I'd seen anybody play a POG - it was just a sound that I hadn't heard before.
"Being able to hold their own and all that stuff with just two people in the band, and keep the sound as massive... and you hear all these things about how he plays these really shitty guitars that make it hard for him to play, but he enjoys the fight he has to have with the guitar on stage.
"I watch a lot of videos of him just playing solos and just freely expressing himself in his very particular way."