Album: Cuts & Bruises
Release Date: Feb. 17, 2023
Run Time: 45 minutes
Label: Universal Music Operations Limited
Artist: Inhaler (Elijah Hewson, Josh Jenkinson, Robert Keating and Ryan McMahon)
The highly anticipated sophomore album "Cuts & Bruises" from the Irish quartet Inhaler was released Feb. 17, 2023. This record shows a more introspective side of the band, not shying away from looking back on past relationships while also forging their legacy as the new face of alternative rock.
The record features an expansive catalog, exploring slower, emotive love ballads like "Love Will Get You There," while bringing in a heavy guitar and strong snare kick on "These Are The Days."
The track "Dublin in Ecstasy" shows off a modern eclectic style from the band and is one of the strongest records on the album. With lyrics such as “I only want to speak if you have the time / I only wanna fight if it's for your life / I only wanna speak if you have the time / You're not just a friend of a friend of mine,” the band explores a more grunge style of rock, deviating from typical pop-rock sound, with echoing vocals and heavy bass.
"Dublin in Ecstasy" also pays homage to the band’s hometown, Dublin, Ireland, with lead singer and guitarist Elijah Hewson singing “I can see the city in the glass of your eye / And when you take your shot / I'll be there this time / Dublin in ecstasy.”
Another standout track, "So Far So Good," features an upbeat bassline that catches the attention of listeners. In the song, Hewson sings about a past relationship that fizzled out, singing “Lately I've been dancing around you but I can't think straight / Been avoiding your name, just to get some space / Ain't it such a shame? We got so close / So far, so good, yeah.”
Not only reminiscing on past relationships, the band showcases their take on an alternative love song with the album’s ninth track, "Valentine." “Until the wind blows me through, ride into your wave / I need you on good days and on the bad ones too / They say you're hard to pleasе, but I'll still give myself to you,” Hewson wrote. The song stands out from the rest of the album, as it introduces a fresh sound to the record. The slower guitar with a quick snare shifts the album’s pace from an upbeat rock sound to a smoother vocal-based harmony.
This track list demonstrates the band's expansive musical knowledge, as the quartet showcases a range of genres, including softer grunge sound and slowed rock ballads, and a unique style within their album.
The album release comes on the heels of a recent popularity spike for the band after they served as a special guest for the recent Arctic Monkeys tour. Not only will Inhaler continue to periodically open for the rest of Arctic Monkeys' 2023 European dates, but the band will also be teaming up with Harry Styles for one night only during his "Love on Tour" show at Slane Castle in the band’s homeland.
The Dublin group seemed predestined for fame as Hewson is the son of U2 frontman Bono, which has also led to criticism and claims of nepotism against the band.
However, the proof of the members' musical talents and creativity is evident with "Cuts & Bruises." This new deep alternative rock sound from the Inhaler shows the expansive range the four possess and cements the band’s legitimacy.