Dublin based four-piece Inhaler have always looked back on the golden days of 2000s indie- but that's merely the beginning of the band's musical influences. Nothing proves that more than their recently released debut album ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’, an offering that takes the group’s notorious indie sound and gives it an added depth- with notes funk, psychedelia and hard-rock all being heard throughout. The result is an offering that mixes that best of the past and the present, and captures the hazy euphoria of adolescence with remarkable clarity.
From the moment that album begins, an array of musical elements are included in the noise. Title track ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’ is driven by grooves in the bassline, with lead singer Elijah Hewson voice lurking underneath as he tells tales of old lovers and new beginnings. It builds to a chorus of pure euphoria that seems to hark back to the days of crowded venues and horse voices. The next track however, ‘My Honest Face’ change the tone drastically. Instead of groovy beats, we instead get a pullings from punk, as venomous drum beats mimic the bands pounding on a bedroom door. It’s a track that takes you back to the magic live music, steaming from the chaos and dancing with your mates.
The poetic nature of the band's lyrics remain clear as the album develops, helping to fully immerse whoever listens. A highlight of the whole album ‘A Night On The Floor’ captures a heavy night out perfectly, opening with an ambiguous, trippy soundscape, before the main melody cuts straight through it, and brings a sense of clarity that only comes with the morning after. As Hewson sings extended vocal lines and seemingly improvised runs, the track climaxes in an explosion of psychedelic inspiration madness, rounding off the track beautifully when it finally emerges. The mood again changes with ‘Who’s Your Money On’, a track that melds funk into the backdrop of the track, coupled with racing synth patterns, prominent bass lines and dominating drum beats for perhaps the most danceable track of the album.
Like the smoking area of a night out, cathartic truth can be heard towards the albums closer. 'Strange Time To Be Alive’ is a minute soundscape allowing nothing but muted piano chords and shaky vocals. But it’s the closing track ‘In My Sleep’ that captures the group at perhaps their most personal, as they disclose personal dreams and insecurities above a rock-inspired backing remisant of The Smiths. It’s the emotional end of an already candid album, and a true peak overall. It’s only the beginning for Inhaler, but their debut album is one that holds bags of potential. As they continue to grow, we should all keep an ear out.