A horrible hack

Pretty Lousy

That Which has Wrought Great Anxiety

Year Released: 2016
Format: Tape
Label: self released
Reviewed by Oli Saunders on Jan 15, 2017
Occasionally on Collective I randomly receive a record to review that blows me away; a couple of years ago this was done by 'For The Kid In The Back' with his album 'Coffee On An Empty Stomach'. I still play it regularly. Later, I searched the internet for his bandcamp but it had gone; I had few other leads so thought that was it. Right now, I feel like I've reunited with a lost friend, as Pretty Lousy is the same guy, Justin Passino, and he hasn't disappeared at all, just changed his name. He has kept busy and has released fifteen records in the last seven years.

And what can I say, Justin's music remains incredible. A simple acoustic guitar is the main instrument of choice (an electric guitar as added on occasion) - he either strums it or fingerpicks, both to good effect. His voice is soft and pleasant. And his build ups, from gentle to more aggressive strumming, and more passionate and sometimes strained singing, are fantastic. The first track, 'Get Weird / Get Fucked / Get Gone' is a perfect example. But most of all, it's his lyrics that get me. Usually, I've lazy with lyrics - I tend to like bands for their sound and not care too much about what they are saying - but Justin's words are personal, intelligent, and hit home. He often reminisces on past events and seems to be trying to give messages to himself and others. There still seems to be overarching sadness, in the lyrics and how he sings, but this is not an album that will just bum you it; it will pull at your heartstrings and make you think. The end of 'Self Righteous Prick' goes "Try to be, try to be, try to be, try to be, try to be happy'.

You should give up a bit of time and listen to this.

15th January 2017
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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