It takes two to tango, but you can get by making Krautrock-influenced jams on your own just fine. Just ask Phil Manley. When not involved with Trans Am or The Fucking Champs, or producing albums for other Thrill Jockey luminaries like Baron Owl, Date Palms and Golden Void, he's written solo stuff as Life Coach. His self-titled debut under that moniker was good, but its follow-up is even better, mostly because it benefits hugely from the presence of a second official member - namely drummer John Theodore, who's played with The Mars Volta and has been involved with Manley for more than 20 years.

Theodore's loose drumming style suits the nature of this batch of eight new songs, but he has to wait a while to show it, as Alphawaves begins with a three-minute ambient piece called 'Sunrise'. That track sets the scene nicely, but it's not until the title track kicks in that things really get going, pulsing basslines and Theodore's motorik groove holding it together for half its duration before it briefly cuts loose for a euphoric bridge passage. Manley's guitar playing switches between straightforward and flamboyant, though he does have Golden Void's Isaiah Mitchell helping him out lead guitar on some songs. Alphawaves is a fun-sounding album that finds the trio dipping into many different styles of music; 'Limitless Possibilities' opens out into majestic-sounding space-rock after its atmospheric intro, and 'Life Experience' gets a lot out of a single distorted guitar line, its two minutes acting as an ideal transition into the most intense part of the album, The chugging guitars and triumphant feel of 'Mind's Eye' lead into the debilitating drone-rock of 'Ohm', closing the album with a blissful eight minutes of sheer noise.

The new incarnation of Life Coach is at its best when its members fully let themselves to. They manage to explore the different facets of their sound over the course of Alphawaves, but are at their best when putting the 'rock' into krautrock - as they do on the fuzz-laden 'Fireball', the only track on the album to feature vocals, and therefore come closest to the idea of a conventional song - or letting free-wheeling compositions go wherever they please. The album's disparate styles are brought together by the trio's stitching-together of the record as one complete piece, but there's something else that unites all eight tracks - Life Coach sound like they're having a serious amount of fun at all times; not that they didn't before, but it's more apparent this time around. With the addition of Theodore as a full-time member of the band, you could almost say the fun has been doubled.