Let’s start this album review with two admissions. One, this is not an indie band. Dublin-based band Inhaler is signed with Polydor, part of the Universal Music Group. Second, this band is going to be huge. Cuts & Bruises is a killer album and the band's current tour showcases just how tight the guys are on stage and ready for something much bigger. OMI caught Inhaler in Dallas this week, along with a few hundred dedicated fans and curious older fans. The show was as polished and exciting as their new album.
The first thing that is noticeable on Inhaler’s second album is the emergence of a new synth-rock sound. This really ties things together on the album and in their live performance. The second track, "Love Will Get You There," goes a bit synth-pop. The song is very catchy and radio ready.
OMI really loves “So Far So Good.” This light rock tune builds as it goes. The tale of an awkward relationship is perfectly situated in the album and is quite a gem.
“These Are The Days” anchors the album. This nostalgic rocker captures the sound that has been emanating from Ireland and Great Britain and influencing bands in Canada and the Northeast of the United States. Elijah Hewson’s vocals on the mark and the synth work on this song remind OMI of The Psychedelic Furs.
“If You’re Going to Break My Heart” is a rock ballad. It’s a good tune, it’s a bit of an earworm, and it plays even better live. I expect this one will be on the band's setlist for years to come.
The back half of the album lacks the character of the first half of the album. The songs are well-produced and don’t take anything away from the project. But the strength of this project is clearly in the first five songs.
If you can catch Inhaler live in concert now. They are playing in small venues and you’ll be able to tell others you stood only feet away from the band at a small venue back in the day. Also, don’t miss out on these songs. This album has quite a few songs that could stay on your playlist for years.