Life Coach ‘Alphawaves’ CD/LP/DD 2013

Life Coach 'Alphawaves'I won’t lie to you, dear Shamanists, due to the eternally chaotic set of ever changing circumstances we call “real life” being unexpectedly hectic in the time since I got this here album for review, I’m incredibly late in turning this review in. However, that may work in Life Coach‘s benefit – as rather than listening to this in a pissy, rainy commute a month and a half or so ago, I find myself enjoying it more in the early throes of the environment it was so obviously intended for: summer.

The introductory “Sunrise” is the musical representation of exactly that – it kicks off the album serenely before bursting into action with the title track. Life Coach set out their uplifting, ever so slightly motorik stall here as the driving rhythm and piano chords move along under some tasty yet subtle guitar noodling (provided by the mighty Isaiah Mitchell of Earthless apparently). It’s got a laziness to it, but it’s not lethargic if you get me. Perfect early morning music to kick start the day.

It’s a nice relaxed vibe they settle into and build on fantastically with the next track, “Limitless Possibilities”, where some vocals are introduced over the loose, jammy music to add a little extra warmth. It’s three minutes of sunny bliss, and again, perfect summer music to have on in the background.

But that’s also the flaw with Life Coach, if there is one – it is essentially background music. The fuzzed groove of “Fireball”, and the mantra like psych rocker “Mind’s Eye” a couple of songs later are the two songs you drop what you’re doing and pay attention to, and even those just kind of peter out, and feel a little under developed.

Background music is okay to an extent though and cleverly Life Coach keep it brief at 8 songs in just under 40 minutes, so it never gets too indulgent. Main man Phil Manley’s association with the precision audio of Trans Am makes you think this might be a jammier counterpart to some of his work with this band – it shares that propulsive core but this gets a little too loose and unfocused here, perhaps as an escape from the tightness of Trans Am.

Still, if you want some sunny sounds to waft around while you break out a barbeque and some beers with your mates in the back garden before it all descends into absolute chaos, this might be just the job.

Label: Thrill Jockey Records

Scribed by: Jamie Grimes