REVIEW: Inhaler Releases Sophomore Album ‘Cuts & Bruises’

Featured Photo Credit: Lewis Evans

Dublin-based rock band Inhaler is maturing their sound and taking listeners along for the ride with their latest album ‘Cuts & Bruises.’

The four-piece’s sophomore project comes a year and a half after ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’ which debuted at #1 on the UK & Irish Official Charts and became the fastest-selling debut album on vinyl by any band in this century. 

‘Cuts & Bruises’ possesses some of the best sounds of surf-rock, indie-pop, grunge, and other genres. While the album is undoubtedly more confident than their first, Inhaler still hasn’t established a distinct sound, leaving each track with a sense of eerie familiarity.

“Do they sound like (insert indie rock Tumblr girl favorite here)?” It’s difficult to point out exact similarities or obvious influences from other groups, which is equally frustrating and entertaining. 

Nothing feels quite right to insert in the parentheses above, but maybe that’s what Inhaler is aiming for.

In a press release, bassist Robert Keating said that prolonged touring throughout America, attending various festivals, and opening for Arctic Monkeys “helped shape what kind of direction” Inhaler wanted to take with the album.

The band has gone in direction that has proven to do well over the years by tapping into the nostalgia of what some today would consider “indie sleaze.” Intentional or not, Inhaler’s current sound has long-occupied our brains thanks to groups like Two Door Cinema Club, Keane and The Killers.

While Inhaler has yet to set themselves apart, one thing is clear. Lead singer Elijah Hewson’s voice sounds an awful lot like Bono’s, who happens to be his father.

One can only assume that growing up in the presence of influential musicians provides the ability to pull sounds and references from many sources. That being said, it may prove limiting if Inhaler is hoping to stand out.

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