Alphawaves by Life Coach is every bit as good as its cover suggests, a bursting explosion of colourful psych rock.
After the cymbal washes and backwards guitar noodling of scene-setting opener ‘Sunrise’, the band launch into the excellent Neu! juggernaut title track. Over six and a half captivating minutes, the band explores and utilises all the conventions you would expect: an ever rolling hypnotic rhythm section cruising down an infinite highway, soaring guitar lines, well deployed keyboard plonks and droning synths, but uses them in a way that betrays a deep understanding not just of the mechanics of motorik but also its capacity for joyous transcendence; this is definitely not a case of “tonight Matthew, we’re going to be Harmonia!”
Perhaps, in a nutshell, that is what this album does best: the taking of well-worn clichés and left-field rock tropes and delivering them with complete conviction and an infectious sense of fun; I detected not a trace of irony or dilettantish wardrobe borrowing. Life Coach pick the best bits of prog, krautrock, psych, and, on the brilliant ‘Fireball’, sludge metal, and renders them in blinding clarity.