I don’t remember the exact day I discovered Console Warriors, except that it was the song ‘Vicious Fishus’ that I heard first. I was in school, living in a Chester suburb named Mickle Trafford, and at the time was obsessed with Brisbane-based indie band ‘The Jungle Giants’ and ‘Capisce?’ of SentUAMessage fame. This triad of indie pop forms the basis of a time capsule that contains an era of my life where ‘The Inbetweeners’ felt like it mocked me personally.
Out of these three bands, the one I still return to the most is without a doubt, Console Warriors. The band formed originally as a duo in Adelaide, in 2010, with Bill Meegan and Fionn Tschanz-Bartleet filling out the lineup. Their debut EP, the self-titled ‘Console Warriors’ came two years later. Following that, they added Danny Catalano as a full-time bassist and released ‘The Jitterblood Mini EP’ a year later.
Despite not having released any new material for eight long years, I can’t help but go back to this band and their heartbreakingly short discography – which contains a grand total of just seven songs.
This lack of quality has no impact on the quality of these songs however, with ‘Starship 84’, ‘Jitterblood’ and the aforementioned ‘Vicious Fishus’ being my S-tier picks of their catalogue. These tunes capture that zeitgeist of quintessential early 2010’s millennial indie music too well for me to ever put them down.
The latter of those songs, ‘Vicious Fishus’, might be one of my favourite tunes of all time. It’s a cleanly edited, barrage of indie rock with maybe the most infectious baseline I’ve ever heard. Bill Meegan’s vocal performance on this song is powerful and full of raw emotion, especially when he rasps “this is love my dear, I can feel it / I feel it in my bones”. His voice carries a slight vibrato that dances over the intense drums laid down by Tschanz-Bartleet. Truly a gem of a song, and in the comment section you can see how dearly missed this band is, even to this day.
‘Starship 84’ is a close-second when it comes to my personal opinion, it’s got a wicked math rock-esque guitar line, reminiscent of old-school Foals, that carries the verses of the track. The bridge of this song is something else too, with the aggressive drums talking centrefold alongside a slinky bassline that would go hard at any indie disco.
Both of these aforementioned tracks are from their debut ‘Console Warriors’ EP, but ‘Jitterbug’ from their sophomore effort is definitely worth your time too. The introduction of Catalano and his funky, dancing bassline carries this track by the hand, and does not let you go until the heavy guitars kick in. Again, this song has a fantastic instrumental bridge, which you’ll notice is the forte of the now defunct Aussie group.
All this isn’t saying ‘Sodapop Swing’, ‘Pyjama Party’, ‘Imaginary You’ and ‘Ode To Overstreet’ aren’t bangers in themselves, but they don’t invoke that same feeling of, dare I say, nostalgia as the others do.
So, if they’re so good, I hear you ask, where are they now? The truth is, they all seem to be working on other musical endeavours. Whether they moved on through lack of interest in the Console Warriors project, or if they fell out of love with the sound, I don’t know. I couldn’t find anything that remotely looked like a hiatus post on their socials, but it’s possible I just missed it when researching.
Either way, give them a listen, their stuff is only available on Bandcamp or YouTube so you can feel all edgy and hipster while you’re listening to it. Maybe someday they’ll come back, but until then, and if Bill, Fionn or Danny are reading this – please put your music on Spotify, I beg you.
Here, I’ll even link you to a video on how to do it: