Review: Ty Coates – Drivers Lament EP

Ty-Coates-Drivers-Lament_CDI’ve had the new EP from Ty Coates on high rotation over the past few days, and if you’re a fan of melodic rock with a catchy chorus, this is one new release you need to make the effort to check out.  This 4-track outing comes hot on the heels of a recent (recorded in 1989) live release from his former outfit The Bombers, and is a timely reminder of just how massive and indeed enduring, his vocals are. In fact, he never sounded better.

It’s been three years since Coates released his big sounding ‘Child In The Man’ album, a record which left many fans wanting more – including me. This new offering picks up nicely from where Child In The Man left off and does not disappoint.

The hard-hitting title track ‘Drivers Lament’ opens the EP and there’s plenty to like. For starters, the song kicks off with some alluring lead guitar which sets the tone, and has a core bassline (courtesy of Mick Carter) that is strong and melodic. ‘Duck’ Dunn approved! The lyrics instantly evoke red and dusty images of a road train hurtling at speed in the outback, or a semi-trailer rolling along the Stuart Highway at night. What really had me hooked though is the gritty, thumping chorus and I reckon that if this was pitched in the direction of someone like Cold Chisel (or Barnesy), it would be all over the airwaves…

The quality material continues via the track ‘Good Intentions’. The story behind this one is a message of self-belief and inner strength. It’s got a powerful 1980’s vibe along with a clap-along/break down chorus which works a treat. Oh and listen out for the guitar and piano when they go head to head on the solo. It’s good stuff. That’s two outta two folks.

There’s a cool take included here of Fogerty’s mournful masterpiece ‘Someday Never Comes’ which is also pretty special. Tyrone’s vocals have always demanded your attention and his faithful interpretation here is another highlight. It may just make you wanna take another look at Creedence’s often criticised final album ‘Mardi Gras’ – which the track is lifted from.

You’ll find good players on Drivers Lament too, and as is evidenced by the quality of the material, much effort has gone into the area of song composition too.

You may just want to crank the volume on the dirty, three and half minute tune called ‘Two Tribes’. This song is drenched in swampy, Skynyrd-esque slide guitar and rounds out the EP out in the best way possible

Some time back I interviewed John Brewster from The Angels – who as many will know, was Tyrone’s bandmate in the Bombers. I brought up the subject of the Bombers/Alice Cooper 1990 tour supports and he said something which has stayed with me….“we were playing stadiums and Tyrone’s voice in a stadium is something to behold” . I too heard his voice on that stadium tour and couldn’t agree with John Brewster more.

I’ve gone on record as saying Ty Coates has one of the biggest voices in rock and three decades after I first heard him sing, it’s reassuring to hear his vocals and musicianship – as shown on Driver’s Lament  – to be as strong as ever. Drivers Lament gets two thumbs up from me and is worth your while chasing down….

The EP, as well as Tyrone’s previous album ‘Child In The Man’ can be purchased by clicking here

If you wish to learn more about Tyrone and his rock n roll journey – may I suggested spending some of your time looking over his web site which is at


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