Sexstone – The Painful Side of True (CD)

“Thank You” is a track that really has some common ground in Ugly Kid Joe’s “I Hate Everything About You”, in terms of the sheer sarcasm that is present. In regards to the musical side of the track, what Sexstone does here is skillfully tie together punk, alt-country, and even grunge to create something that is fresh and uniquely theirs. “Where” follows up “Thank You”, and is a sea change to what people were just hit with a few minutes before. This track rests on an emotive and soulful acoustic guitar and touching set of vocals.

Steven’s charisma is something that shines at all points during “The Painful Side of True”, calling forth a rich tradition of compelling lead rockers. “Falling Away” continues the slightly slower approach of “Where”, but includes a brooding sound that has not been heard since Creed’s “My Own Prison”. “Falling Away” represents another hit for Sexstone in the chiaroscuro that is created here between the lighter guitar arrangements and the deeper, darker emotion that is weaved through the track. “The Brighter Side of Blue” may seem to go back to that same well, but listeners should give the song a fair shake. This is due to the fact that the band throws an incredible number of different approaches and influences into the track, requiring numerous listens before interested parties can hear everything present. Blur, late nineties emo, and Three Days Grace are whipped together and are turned into a track that could easily make it on any rock radio station. Where a number of rock discs peter out towards the end, I feel that there is a progression on “The Painful Side of True” that can only be understood if listeners stick around until “Lift” finishes up.

The different time signatures utilized during the track showcases a linear evolution to this album that bodes well for any follow-up that is released. The band looks to continually innovate and impress, and I feel that the charisma that Steven shows here would be amped up one thousand times in a live setting. If you like what you hear on their Myspace or on this album, keep them in your sights – they will continue to surprise in the years to come.

Top Tracks: Thank You, The Brighter Side of Blue

Rating: 8.6/10

Sexstone – The Painful Side of True / 2009 Self / 10 Tracks /

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