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The indefatigable Phil Manley is back under his Life Coach guise, and this time he’s got a sticksman - none other than Mars Volta/Fucking Am/Golden boy Jon Theodore! Anyway, this LP starts out with some trippy cyclic sitar drones before they head into some pulsating cosmic new age kraut action with Emeraldsy fretwork from Earthless’s Isaiah Mitchell, supa-brite synths and some nice dual guitar action which can’t help but bring to mind Manley’s Fucking Champs crossed with Neu! It’s liquid sunshine, like a more energetic take on Clark & McGuire’s ‘Inner Tube’ bliss-outs.
Then there’s ‘Limitless Possibilities’, a woozy shoegaze piece bordering on pastiche but pleasant nonetheless, before ‘Into The Unknown’ takes us into darker, heavier territory with some swirling guitar noise while Jon loses his shit with some crazy free-expressive fun to end side A. On the other side ‘Fireball’ is a Torche-esque fuzz rock monster with some Life Of Agony-style crooning which for all its cheeseball bombast is actually a lot of fun. Then there’s a brief buzzy minimal interlude that I initially thought was synth but then realised was a guitar, before ‘Mind’s Eye’ drags us into energetic cosmic funk bounce over an insistent pedal chug and some totally psychedelic echoed vocals, before closer ‘Ohm’ eases us back to earth with swirling cymbals and crackling, rumbling guitar and synth drones.
By mixing things up stylistically throughout the album even the more insubstantial pieces really fit into the overall flow, and Manley seems to have successfully turned Life Coach into, dare I say it, a rock band. The new age vibes are still present, especially towards the start, but Theodore’s presence is far more than token and his lively, creative grooves dominate the second side. But then, who doesn’t want to hear the drummer from Golden and the guitarist from Trans Am doing a bunch of joyous cosmic wig-outs? Whoever they are, I don’t want to be their friend. This is brilliant.
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