Pretty Sick - Makes Me Sick Makes Me Smile

Pretty Sick
Black Tar

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Pretty Sick are preparing to drop Makes Me Sick Makes Me Smile on 30th September 2022, and ‘Black Tar’ is another track that will appear on the record, alongside the single we reviewed recently, ‘Human Condition’.

With an atmospheric guitar motif and accompanied by a drum beat, ‘Black Tar’ is dark and grungy with a video to match. The vocal is high in the mix, making the song feel really personal and intimate. The persistent sway of the beat matches the mood of the song.

Lyrically, the song is an analogy for a claustrophobicly dependent relationship, the thick black layer of tar a comfort as well as a trap. The second verse captures this tragic dysfunctional contradiction poetically:

He keeps me in a jar
Even when you’re close you feel so far
Covered in a thick black layer of tar
I can’t breathe but I feel so warm and smooth

The melody in the chorus finishes a semitone above where the guitar line plays in the verse, and all these really close semitonal shifts create a really interesting emotional space for the song. It’s all arranged around the 6th and 7th frets, to create an odd drop and climbs.

The chorus widens this dramatically, though the change is subtle.

I’ll always be whatever you want
Made specially for your consumption
Wa-a-a-ah, whatever you want

In recognition that I’ve become distracted by the really interesting guitar, I should add finally that Sabrina Fuentes performs to the mood of the song. The vocal floats on the line endings, the sweetness delivering a convincing doe-eyed submissiveness that only occasionally gets sharpened to an edge.

Watch Pretty Sick – Black Tar.

Pretty Sick October 2022 Tour

Pretty Sick are on tour in October, staring in Europe and then heading to North America.


  • 4th Dublin, Ireland
  • 5th Belfast, Ireland
  • 7th Bristol, UK
  • 8th Norwich, UK
  • 10th Nottingham, UK
  • 11th Newcastle, UK
  • 13th Manchester, UK
  • 14th Sheffield, UK
  • 15th Glasgow, UK
  • 17th Brighton, UK
  • 18th Southampton, UK
  • 19th London, UK

North America

October Dates:

  • 24th Minneapois, MN
  • 25th Chicago, IL
  • 26th Omaha, NE
  • 28th Denver, CO
  • 29th Salt Lake City, UT
  • 31st Portland, OR

November Dates:

  • 1st Seattle, WA
  • 3rd San Francisco, CA
  • 5th Los Angeles, CA
  • 6th Santa Ana, CA
  • 8th Phoenix, AZ
  • 10th Austin, TX
  • 11th Houston, TX
  • 12th Denton, TX
  • 14th Nashville, TN
  • 15th Atlanta, GA
  • 17th Chapel Hill, NC
  • 18th Washington, DC
  • 19th Boston, MA
  • 20th Philadelphia, PA
  • 21st New York, NY

Grab tickets from the Dirty Hit website.

Written by Fenton on

Steve Fenton writes in our music, words, and culture categories. He was Editor in Chief for The Mag and covered live music for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues throughout the UK alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve is also a technical writer and programmer and writes gothic fiction. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

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