Pretty Killer release debut album “Blood Sugar”

Pretty Killer eating donuts
Pretty Killer

Pretty Killer just released their debut album Blood Sugar today (March 10) via the label We Are Triumphant. The band, from Worcester, Massachusetts, can be described as nu-punk, or a combination of electro-pop, hip-hop, and punk. Jason Pascucci (vocals/guitar), Andrew Quinn (guitar/bass), and Jacob Blondin (drums/production) started the band in 2021, breaking out from a former band which they all were members of. They eventually brought on long-time friends Cody Buteau (guitar) and Jared Brunelle (synth), with the intention of evolving into a new sound. The poppy surfaces on these songs juxtaposed with dark lyrics and injections of ominous sounds make Blood Sugar a fitting name for this album.


“[ON]” starts out with dark electronic sounds. The almost whispery vocals and electronic hip-hop beat remind me a little of Bad Omens’ most recent album The Death of Peace of Mind, which is more metalcore but shares some of those elements. It also makes me think of Waterparks’ more recent releases that include big chaotic electronic sounds such as the intro to “Cherry Red”, “Greatest Hits”, and “LIKE IT”. Of course, they’re much different from each other, but this song just gives me a similar vibe.

Pretty Killer group photo

Blood Sugar

The intro includes female vocals which almost sound like they’re being spoken over the phone. Phone messages are a recurring theme on this album. The guitar is evident in this song, but it’s kind of low in the mix, and the song is mostly hip-hop sounding. It then goes into a faster dance beat that makes you want to jump up and down. It also has a catchy chorus.


“Blossom” is their debut single, featuring Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn, and label mate Monty Xon. This one is more pop-punk sounding with the vocal style and the melody. It’s reminiscent of Machine Gun Kelly’s more pop-punk songs.

Kellin Quinn’s vocals fit in well and compliment the lead singer Jason’s lower vocals. It’s overall a pop and hip-hop song with the beat, but has pop-punk elements, like the muted electric guitar strumming.

Pretty Killer group photo


“Walls” also has some pop-punk elements, which can be heard in the punchy drums, guitar, melody, and vocal style. I like the inserted spoken part, “Ah, I got this thing about heights though.” Kelaska’s vocals fit in well here. I like the more prominent guitar in the outro. It leaves me with a tinge of sadness.


“Slowdown” starts out with distant sounds of a music box or a kid’s xylophone which is interesting. Then it goes into a sort of hip-hop beat that makes me visualize driving with the roof down past some palm trees in California. It’s very chill and kind of relaxing, which fits with the lyrics “Let it slown down”. It ends with a literal slowed down effect like a robot powering down.

Pretty Killer group photo


“happyfknbirthday” is also more pop-punk. I like the instrumental of guitar and drums in the chorus, but I with they were louder and more prominent, because they’re the main focus here. I know the style is supposed to be more hip-hop, but when there’s a segment that is focusing on the more rock elements, I think they should stand out more. I like the scream/growl before it goes back into the chorus and the growled vocals in the bridge.


This interlude starts out with acoustic guitar and goes into voicemail messages, which is interesting. I like how they incorporated them with the guitar, because the way they arranged them and their cadence somehow goes well with the melody. As the end of the song nears, some of the messages have an effect on them that sounds like they’re repeating/got stuck. Then the last voicemail has a distorted filter on it with ominous dark sounds in the background, and I think that was a really cool choice.

This interlude is a compilation of voicemail the band received over the course of the album. The phone is a recurring theme in the album as it is the main platform of communication for most of the emotions experienced throughout the album.

-Pretty Killer
Pretty Killer group photo


“Away” has a repeating electronic jingle in the beginning. I like the spoken lyrics, “Pff, that’s an overused metaphor.” It’s almost as if he’s talking to himself or it’s like an aside.

I like the ethereal echoey vocals in the background sprinkled throughout the song. I think the featured singer Kelaska sounds good here too. Her voice reminds me a little of Halsey. In the lyrics, they mention “We were screaming Blurryface”, and Blurryface is my favorite Twenty One Pilots album, so I wonder if that’s a reference to the album. This band seems like they would like Twenty One Pilots so it would make sense. I like the back and forth between the two singers in the bridge like they’re arguing, which goes with the theme of the song. I also like how they cut up the vocals at the end and the effects they put on them.

Cold Sober

“Cold Sober” starts out with cool electronic sounds. The guitar is heavier/more distorted and dark here and the drums are heavier too, which I really like. It shows more of the band’s Linkin Park nu-metal influence. On the lyrics “you were all that I need”, the “need” is a little too nasally, which kind of bothered me. I really like the guitar solo and the screaming on the bridge. It’s definitely the heaviest and darkest sounding song on the album. This is my favorite song on the album.

“This song is about the struggles and mental breakdown of sobriety particularly during the covid-19 lockdown where access to AA meetings were closed and only held virtually. The ‘You’ in the song is alcohol and the struggles associated with recovery and whether or not it’s really worth it.

-Pretty Killer
Pretty Killer group photo

4 Missed Calls

This song continues with the phone message theme, and its sound is more on the hip-hop side. Its lyrics are particularly dark and the chords of the acoustic guitar also help to convey the sad emotion.

“This song is about the loss of a loved one to drugs. The pain around it and the shared emotions. It’s also about living with survivor’s guilt.

-Pretty Killer

The Comedown

I can hear their Nirvana influence on this one with the grungey distorted guitar. Somehow, the grungey guitar sound works in combination with their hip-hop and pop punk sound. It gives it kind of a lo-fi effect. I don’t like the humming between the verse and chorus; it just sounds too buzzy or nasally with the effect that was put on it. Overall, this song is more soft and soothing and the most hopeful of of all the songs. I think it works great as a closing song.


Overall, the vocals are clear, so I’m able to understand the lyrics as he’s singing them. I like the cool electronic elements they used, especially in the intros of songs. They incorporate a range of genres on this album, so I’m interested to see what Pretty Killer does next, because they could go in a lot of different directions. I think the vocals could use a little more tweaking, but overall they go well with the music and give me a pop-punk MGK vibe. I really like their song “Cold Sober”, and I wish the guitars and drums were as prominent on the other songs as they were on this one. I enjoyed this album more than I thought I would–with the first song, I thought it would all be more hip-hop/electronic, but as I listened to more songs, I realized it incorporated a lot of other sounds that I enjoyed.

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Photos courtesy of Pretty Killer.

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By Noelle Matonis

Pop-Punk & Pizza Host & Producer