That Which Has Wrought Great Anxiety

by Pretty Lousy

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Danielle Cregan
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Danielle Cregan Uncomfortably real. The kinds of feelings that most of us don't want to admit to but all of us feel at some point. For those of us who revel in those feelings, this is perfection. Favorite track: Get Weird / Get Fucked / Get Gone.
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The fourth full-length album by Pretty Lousy aka Justin Passino, formerly known as For the Kid in the Back. 10 more songs about being terrified and sad. Nervous breakdowns on the road. Crying in the bathroom at work. Telephone conversations in parking lots. Afternoons and evenings in the Emergency Room. Looking over your shoulder while walking after dark. Letters half-read. People you'll never see again.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Matt Hall in Plattsburgh, NY throughout 2015 & 2016.


released June 19, 2016



all rights reserved


Pretty Lousy Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Pretty Lousy is the DIY effort of Justin Passino, a singer/songwriter currently residing in Lehigh Valley, PA.

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Track Name: Get Weird / Get Fucked / Get Gone
The sky, at best, is a speckled mess
of blue and black and birds headed west
and I can't help but watch them fly
out of my sight.
It's funny how intentions can change
from confidence to cowardice in the course of a day
but we all have our own ways of dealing with escape.
Cry yourself to sleep without waking your roommates.

We hold hands like kids hold cigarettes:
clumsy, unbecoming, preemptive regret.
I want you to miss me as much as I miss you.
These promises I made to the walls of my room--
I broke them all in two.

The air turns cold and warm and cold again,
don't you know that nothing is constant?
Everyone in power here will someday fall,
everything in motion here will someday stall.
Don't walk away from me when I'm trying to talk.
You say you have my number but you never call.
Don't you know that nothing is constant?
Don't you know that everything good ends?

I'm not waiting here forever,
that much is clear.
I've had one foot out of the door for going on
twenty-something years.
Only so many people I love can up and go
before this little town feels less like home.
The growing distance between friends,
the fears that we're becoming our parents.
The chemical imbalance in your head
can't be blamed for all the things you never said.
The doctors told you you had nine years left
if you let it all go unchecked.
Well guess what?
It's been ten years since you said,
you said you've never see him again.

The air turns cold and warm and cold again,
don't you know that nothing is constant?
Everyone in power here will someday fall,
everything in motion here will someday stall.
Don't walk away from me when I'm trying to talk.
You say you have my number but you never call.
Don't you know that nothing is constant?
Don't you know that everything good ends?
Track Name: Control
Lately I've been spending more time in my car,
I keep the engine running but I don't go far.
Lately I'm compulsively checking my phone
for news, good or bad, rolling in from home.
Lately I've been loving waking up all alone,
at seven every morning, the sun shines in my window.
Lately I've been dreaming I've been losing my teeth,
a lapse in your breathing means a lapse in sleep.

Do you feel wrong?
Do you feel absolved?
Did you make the right call?
Do you feel at all?

Lately I've been writing with these broken strings
but if you ask me what I'm thinking, I'll say "not a thing".
Lately I've been spending time crossing lakes.
I always feel better in another state.
Lately I've been taking more walks with my knife,
looking over my shoulder through the evening light.
Lately I've been listening for patterns in speech,
it's a code that I have broken set in place to destroy me.

Control -- feel it take hold.
Fear -- let it die right here.
Fate -- it's written on your face.
Concern -- tell me son, what have you learned?
Track Name: Third Act
I read your mood out loud in the kitchen to some friends
with the reluctance of a child and the stutter of a student
on a stage in front of peers in a public-speaking class
last day of freshman year and on the verge of collapse
or the summary on the back of a book I never read
that I borrowed from a lover and then lent to a friend
who used it as a coaster until the spine began to bend
and the pages came detached as the wind began to send
the story out of order to an unexpected end
like that paycheck in your pocket that you know won't cover rent
or the aching in your chest when they won't get out of bed,
much less look you in the eye for longer than a second
until you begin to lie about what you want for dinner
or how you lost the keys that you made in September
when you moved to a city that you thought would give you hope
but it only left a lesion where your love used to grow.

I know this can't go on forever.
Yea, some things have to change.
Devotion driven by doubt is a loaded gun
in the first act of a play.

I read your mood out loud today
to get your story straight.
Track Name: Self-Righteous Prick
Try not over-sleep.
Try not to over-eat.
Try not to call in sick.
Try not to quit.
Try not to drive too fast
or off a bridge or an overpass.
Try not to call her,
but when you do
try not to falter.

Try to be, try to be, try to be, try to be, try to be kind.
Try to be, try to be, try to be, try to be, try to be happy.

Try not to talk too much.
Try not to lean on your crutch.
Don't cry in the bathroom.
Try not to die too soon.
Try to forgive those friends
who won't call you for weeks on end.
Forgive this town for failing at its best,
you might as well blame the sun for setting in the west.

Try to be, try to be, try to be, try to be, try to be kind.
Try to be, try to be, try to be, try to be, try to be happy.
Track Name: Foul Ball in Flight
Foul ball in flight.
Warm, speckled light.
Barefoot on a carpet,
brown hair in your eyes.
Peppermint Tea leaves.
Cupboards that creak.
These fantasies betray me
like poorly tailored seams.

I remember when
it all shifted.
Took everything you had
and gave back nothing.
And what they say about me
is completely true.
In love with the pursuit
but too afraid to catch you.

I can't explain
my motivations
for pushing you away,
for my seclusion.
You could disregard the pain
and call it selfish
but I remember when we
sang a common chorus.

I am alone
because I choose to stay alone.
I am afraid
because I choose to stay afraid.

We live on borrowed time.
Someday I will die
and there is nothing waiting for me
on the other side.
Yet, still I hesitate and repeat past mistakes
I know I'll never learn my lesson until its too late.
And by the time the summer storms were over
the dam up in the mountains couldn't hold the water.
I just laid down in the street
and waited for it to take me
as it washed the city clean,
a quiet, violent victory.
Track Name: Call Me Out
Dislodge me,
work me free.
Watch me
as I'm pulled away
out and underneath.

It's not like me.
No, this isn't me.

Call me,
call me out
on every single
word I say
and the blood
I carry in my mouth.

It's not like me.
No this isn't me.

If you want to watch everyone disappear then
just stop drinking.
If you want to get on my level then hurry up
and start sinking.
Measuring the youth you wasted by a clock on your bed
that just keeps blinking off and on and off and on and off and on again.

Are you alright?
Track Name: We Should Have All Been Cops
I watched you,
I watched you part from the crowd
as you became,
as you became the person you are now.

The needles,
the needles, they make my mattress in
the forest,
on the forest floor where I'm living now.

No, I don't believe in god.
Or blame my boots for the faults of my feet.
If you wait here long enough you can
lose your faith in anything.
Track Name: Hollow
I don't care where you've been.
I don't care what you've done.
I don't give a fuck about who you love.
I don't care about you or anyone.


I don't want to go to work
but I can't afford to stay at home.
I don't want to talk to anyone
but I don't want to be alone.


I don't care.
Track Name: Speed Ricer
Master and Everyone spun
on the stereo you kept by your bedroom window.
The one that led to the roof
where you kept the booze
safe and cold under inches of snow.

I was home,
all alone when you called me
at a quarter to one in the morning
in the middle of a storm.
I almost died
six or seven times on my way to your house
with all of the lights out except for yours
like the cover of that record we both adored.

Cap n' Jazz, Small Brown Bike,
Elliott, Eluvium and On the Might of Princes
So many nights
spent on your couch,
drunk and laughing long
after the lights went out.

I still remember the mornings I would skip my classes
and your dad, he made us breakfast
and we talked about our band
as if we even had a chance
to escape from this town we loved to talk shit about.
The stupid jokes,
blood-shot eyes,
badly-aimed high-fives.
Those bottles we killed in your room
and how it felt to be 22.
December's Tragic Drive,
we'll taste it,
we'll taste it in time.
Track Name: A Way Out
The days
die and fade
into the ether.

Her face,
the contours of her shape
I can't remember.

You found a way out,
it's a long way down.

This chance,
these lines that we trace
can't define you.
They can't define you.

Just name a time and place
and I will find you.
I will find you.

I found a way out,
it's a long way down.

Just say when.