Irish indie rock band Inhaler release ‘Cuts & Bruises’ their follow-up to debut album ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’ which debuted at no.1 in both the UK & Irish Official Charts and became the fastest-selling debut album on vinyl by any band this century and saw them become the first Irish group to top the Album Charts with a debut in thirteen years. The band comprise of vocalist and guitarist Elijah Hewson, bassist Robert Keating, guitarist Josh Jenkinson and drummer Ryan McMahon  It`s probably best to address the elephant in the room straight away, Elijah Hewson’s father is U2 singer Paul David Hewson, a.k.a. Bono. The new release has many songs about their relationships with other people and each other. 

The album opens with `Just To Keep You Satisfied` a gently melodic dreamy number with quietly shared vocals, shimmering guitar chords and a shook tambourine. A quite charming and pleasant way of introduction. There`s a rolling, shuffling beat to `Love Will Get You There` with its vocal harmonies. A track that was inspired by a friend of the band’s, as well as the prospect of love. 

`So Far So Good` has a kind of drum cadence pulse like beat and a rhythmic guitar chord riff  underlying this quite expansive number which becomes fairly mesmerising as it evolves. We enjoy some realty breathy vocals on the delightfully anthemic `These Are The Days`, a composition that seems to be made to play in a stadium like venue with fans screaming and dancing along. 

The band have shared how and from where the piano driven rootsy `If You’re Gonna Break My Heart` took its inspiration. “Whilst on tour in America last year we were listening to a lot of music by some of the great American writers such as Bob Dylan, The Band, Bruce Springsteen etc. Listening to these artists while travelling on big open highways resonated with us and helped shape this song into making us sound more like a live band than we had before.” I felt that `Perfect Storm` was a much more measured, reflective slow burn which gave the impression that it`s going to explode at any time, but seemed to hold itself back, 

`Dublin In Ecstasy` has a kind of heartbeat that leads us intro this homage to the band`s hometown. It has glittering guitar reflections layered with vocals over a throbbing drum beat. I can only remember one other rock band offering a song about Dublin and that was the majestic Thin Lizzy. There`s a fairly lengthy instrumental introduction to `When I Have Her On My Mind` which is a romantic musing that ebbs and flows as it progresses.  

We have intricate guitar chords riffs that brought to mind twinkling stars as we spin into `Valentine` which kind of grows in volume and stature as the song develops. A fairly apt number as the album is released in the week that this celebration of love and romance falls on. A piano / synth is at the heart of `The Things I Do` which appears fairly introspective, mediative and what sounds almost like orchestrated strings shared throughout. It had a quite heart breaking texture about it at times. 

The album closes out with `Now You Got Me` which has a real mix match of sounds with synth tones, a throbbing bass line, scintillating guitar riffs and considered vocals shared throughout and sprinkled atop. 

It did take a few listens to start to appreciate what the band were trying to share and I do think I’ll maybe not fully appreciate it until I listen a few times more. I`m sure the band could have just played it safe and brought out a kind of rehashed version of their successful debut `It Won`t Always be Like This` but I applaud their desire to produce something that reflects their lives, loves and the world they inhabit at this moment in time. The band are in their early twenties so we can expect much more to come from this talented troupe.  

Rating 8.5 / 10 

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