Inhaler: Cuts & Bruises track by track review

Here are our thoughts on the new album from Inhaler.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 20th Feb 2023

The new album from Inhaler, 'Cuts & Bruises' is the one that is supposed to fire the band past indie stardom to something more mainstream. The Irish band, of course, are part of the nepo baby discourse, with the singer being the son of Bono, it's time to see if they have the talent to back up the privilege. Here are our track-by-track thoughts on their new album.


...Just To Keep You Satisfied

You think of the more melodic elements of The Strokes upon a first listen here. Ramping up the tempo with a heavy riff, it is hard to see so far what the standout qualities of Inhaler are. The song has a lightly cathartic feeling but it isn't exactly demanding that you pay attention. I think the chorus is supposed to be chantable but it is entirely forgettable, a bit of a sin when you're looking to pack out chanting stadiums in the future.



Love Will Get You There

"You got to slow down my friend", as the band says kind of like an agony aunt here when it comes to the pursuit of love. In an interview with NME recently the band said, "we're not here to be a mid-bill festival band" but that is the entire energy felt within these first two tracks. Do the band even believe their own message on this song? They sound bored.



So Far So Good

There's a bit more of a growl to singer Elijah Hewson, which is the first moment of real excitement that can be felt on the album. The whole arrangement feels a lot more energetic this time around, with the guitar riffs locked in by the shimmying of tambourines. 



These Are The Days

A song that seems to speak to teenage nights out, when you're busy attending house parties and feel completely free in the world. An uplifting indie rock album, 'These Are The Days' has a brilliant sense of creeping momentum. Now, this is a chorus that you're going to want to sing along with your friends. 



If You're Gonna Break My Heart

It is debatable whether in these slower, more emotional moments that Inhaler are able to quite hit the spot. The lyrics feel as if they could belong to The Script, who are one of the corniest bands going. We get plenty of lovely piano key sounds but very little to attach ourselves to emotionally.



Perfect Storm

A song that sees us fall in love through Elijah's eyes, the song comes accompanied by occasional flutters of sound in the background between the riffs. You can't help but feel as though Inhaler's guitar playing here just feels the same as every other indie band ever. 



Dublin in Ecstasy

There's a bit more personality to the band's playing here. There's a bit more mystique surrounding the arrangement, helped by the keys supporting the main melody. All around, it's a much more interesting track from the band that holds your attention the full way through.



When I Have Her On My Mind

This song feels as if it was born out of the era of indie in the mid-2010s, where Catfish and The Bottlemen reigned supreme. Another love song that feels quite plain, it isn't anything you've not heard before and Eljah's penchant to pen dull and completely unmemorable lyrics does drag this album down.




A lot of time here is spent asking "be my valentine". It feels pretty much the same as the rest of the tracks on the album. When Elijah sings it's hard to feel anything at all. At least Radio X listeners will probably like it.



The Things I Do

This song feels a bit closer aligned to pop music rather than blaring rock. There's such a bland sonic pallette here, it's hard to see this inspiring a crowd to start throwing limbs or even watch closely with their breath held. 



Now You Got Me

There's a static feeling that dominates this song, cutting straight through the noise of what came before. They've left it a little late to try something different. This is arguably the best song on the album, the guitar feels reinvigorated and it is a resounding final statement for the album.



In summary, there are only very small glimpses of Inhalers potential on 'Cuts and Bruises'. They mostly stick to a sound that treads the line between indie rock and alternative rock and at the worst of times, it is utterly joyless. It would be an incredible challenge to remember a single memorable lyric on what is a complete dud from a writing standpoint. This would never lift them above being a mid-tier festival name.



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.