Inhaler : It Won’t Always Be Like This Review
Inhaler is a rock band from Dublin releasing their debut album, It Won’t Always Be Like This. Elijah Hewson (vocals, guitar), Josh Jenkinson (guitar), Robert Keating (bass), and Ryan McMahon (drums) reveal an album packed with indie-rock grooves and soaring anthems, including the single “Cheer Up Baby,” an epic singalong alongside newly recorded versions of early fan favorites “My Honest Face” and the title track, “It Won’t Always Be Like This.” “No-one was listening to the music we were listening to,” says singer and guitarist Hewson. “It drew us together even though we weren’t that similar.” “Pop music is so dominant. Rock music was our connection,” adds bassist Keating. After guitarist Jenkinson’s addition to the band in 2016, Inhaler started to move away from interpretations of other people’s songs and into crafting their own. “To get to the point that we’re at now, it’s been a gradual process of educating ourselves,” says McMahon. The chemistry between the quartet was immediate and, with the distraction of full-time education out of the way, they could throw themselves into it. “It just felt right,” says Jenkinson. “Once we finished school, we went at it full welly.” The band played Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival last year, that is when everything hit home for them. They had made their own way there, no tour manager, no crew, and arrived in Hewson’s car. The tent was packed out, a crowd of 500 people waiting to see them. “That was the moment where we were like, ‘We can do this, we can be a band,'” remembers Jenkinson. It was the start of things kicking off for Inhaler. “Whatever happens happens, I want to ride it until the wheels come off,” says Hewson. Buckle up. Inhaler is in it for the long haul.
“Cheer Up Baby” has a steady rock rhythmic swagger of clean chiming guitars, steady bass, and propelling drums. With a breezy hook, Hewson’s vocals bring a charm to the theme, and the band has a nice mix of U.K. rock and American 80’s rock sound going on. As it is, Inhaler is at its best delivering a peppy rock sound that pushes the boundaries of pop-rock. Hewson and his teammates work well together, and the songwriting is competent, yielding a trim, well-mannered song with a melody that will excite the senses but should not cause any undue distress.
“When It Breaks” is the highlight of the album. The band has a sound and identity that shines through on this selection. Hewson’s vocals are front and center, though they do get harder to hear in the chorus. The guitar riffs are catchy, and the thumping sound of the bass is excellent. That is not meant to imply that the other tracks are not satisfactory; they are, but this is the sound that Inhaler sounds the most unique. The songwriting has a beautiful counterbalance with a brightened rhythmic framework and light and dark harmonic moments that add color and variety.
As a debut album, It Won’t Always Be Like This can put Inhaler’s music into the musicsphere with few shortcomings. They are fronted by Hewson’s strong vocal skills, and the songwriting confirms that this is a band with a clear direction in an age of uncertainty. More than that, Inhaler has a sincere, heartfelt, and memorable melody and groove structure. Inhaler should be on your playlist if you dig indie rock shaped by The Stone Roses, Joy Division, The Strokes, Depeche Mode, Interpol, Kings Of Leon, and The Cure.
It Won't Always Be Like This
July 7, 2021