Inhaler are a band that defy easy categorization. They are indie rock, but they are also pop, alternative, and even a bit of punk. The band are influenced by legends like The Killers, The War on Drugs, and The Stone Roses. They also have their own distinctive sound and style. Inhaler are the sons of famous musicians, but they are also self-made and independent. They are Inhaler, and they are back with their second album, Cuts & Bruises.
Cuts & Bruises is the follow-up to their debut album, It Won’t Always Be Like This, which was released in 2021. The album became the UK’s fastest-selling debut album on vinyl this century. The first album was a mid-pandemic lifeline for a generation stuck inside. It offered catchy tunes and relatable lyrics about young adulthood. The second album is a bold step forward, showing the band’s growth and maturity as songwriters and performers. It is also a reflection of their changing reality, as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of success.
Just To Keep You Satisfied
The album opens with Just To Keep You Satisfied, a synth-driven anthem. It sets the tone for the rest of the record. The song is about the pressures of fame and the expectations of others. It is also about the joy of making music and the hope of reaching new heights.
The chorus is catchy and uplifting, with frontman Elijah Hewson singing: “I don’t wanna be another face in the crowd / I just wanna be someone you’re proud of. The song is a statement of intent, showing that Inhaler are not here to be a mid-bill festival band, but to push to the very top.
Love Will Get You There
The next track, Love Will Get You There, is one of the lead singles. It is one of the most ambitious songs on the album. It is a sprawling epic that spans over six minutes, featuring soaring vocals, shimmering guitars, and a pulsating rhythm section. The song is inspired by Hewson’s relationship with his girlfriend, who lives in Los Angeles, and the challenges of long-distance love.
It is a tribute to his father, Bono, who gave him some advice on how to cope with the separation. They sing, “He said love will get you there / Love will get you through / Love will make you stronger / Love will see you home”. The song is a testament to Inhaler’s ability to craft emotional and cinematic songs that can fill arenas and stadiums.
These Are The Days
Another highlight is These Are The Days, a fast-paced rock anthem. It recalls the energy and attitude of early Arctic Monkeys. The song is about living in the moment and enjoying the ride, despite the uncertainties and anxieties of the future.
It is also a celebration of Inhaler’s friendship and chemistry as a band. They sing: “These are the days we’ll remember / These are the times we won’t forget / These are the nights we’ll live forever / These are the days we won’t regret”. The song is infectious and exhilarating, showcasing Inhaler’s knack for writing catchy hooks and riffs.
If You’re Gonna Break My Heart
One of the surprises on the album is If You’re Gonna Break My Heart. It is a ballad that showcases Hewson’s vocal range and soulfulness. The song is a departure from Inhaler’s usual sound, featuring acoustic guitars, piano, strings, and horns. It is a song about heartbreak and betrayal, but also about resilience and forgiveness.
Hewson sings: “If you’re gonna break my heart / Do it gently / If you’re gonna leave me here / Do it slowly / If you’re gonna walk away / Don’t look back / If you’re gonna break my heart / Make it last”. The song is a breakthrough moment for Inhaler, showing their versatility and vulnerability as artists.
Another surprise is Valentine, a mid-tempo track that has a melancholic and psychedelic vibe. The song is about falling in love with someone who is not good for you, but being unable to resist them.
Hewson sings: “You’re my valentine / You’re my sweetest sin / You’re my medicine / You’re my heroin”. The song features intricate guitar work and atmospheric synths, creating a hypnotic and haunting sound. The song is one of the most endearing entries on the album. It showcases Inhaler’s willingness to experiment and explore new sonic territories.
The Bottom Line
Cuts & Bruises is a fine follow-up record from one of Ireland’s most promising indie and alternative acts in recent years. It is an excellent companion piece to their debut album, showcasing their impressive musicality and charisma.
It may not be teeming with experimentation or innovation, but it is certainly potent and enjoyable. Inhaler have proven that they are not just another face in the crowd. That they are a band with a vision and a voice. They have also proven that they are not afraid to cut and bruise themselves in the process of making great music.
The album is available to stream and download on all major platforms. Inhaler will be touring the UK and Europe later this year, supporting Sam Fender and Harry Styles. For more information, visit their official website.
- Cuts & Bruises is the second album by Inhaler, an indie rock band from Ireland.
- The album is a bold step forward from their debut album, showing their growth and maturity as songwriters and performers.
- The album features catchy and uplifting songs that reflect their changing reality and their aspirations as a band.
- The album also features some surprises, such as a ballad, a psychedelic track, and a six-minute epic.
- The album is a fine follow-up record that showcases Inhaler’s musicality and charisma.
Check out Inhaler’s latest music video ‘Just To Keep You Satisfied’, below: