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"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 /
- James McQuiston, NeuFutur Magazine

"Sexstone Forges Unique Sound"

Members of the band Sexstone say they have a unique sound. "We have some songs with a punk sound, some with an almost country/rock, some just rock," said vocalist Steve Bauer. "Some people think we're going to be a heavy metal screaming band." But Sexstone is not in that genre.

Some people can't suggest other bands with a similar musical style, while others have mentioned Matchbox Twenty, 3 Doors Down, or Three Days Grace. "There's some strange ones too," bassist, Trent Riley said with a laugh. "But I don't want to go into that."

Sexstone formed in 2004, but Riley is the only remaining original member. Wheeler joining in '05, Bauer in the Fall of '08, and Drummer Troy Dalton was added three months ago.

"I joined in November 2007 via an internet ad they had placed," Bauer said. "They were looking for a singer, a female singer." Even though Bauer didn't meet the requirements, he sent an audio clip. "It was funny," Riley said. "We had been doing auditions for months and auditioned 10-20 girls." At the time, members wanted to do covers of '80's tunes. "We just couldn't find anybody who had the range," Riley said.

But Bauer impressed the members. "It was a rough track," Riley said. "I guess you recorded it on your computer. But the song was amazing. The lyrics were amazing" Bauer joined the group, and members started writing some songs together.

"The funny thing is, a lot of these songs had just been collecting dust in my room," Bauer said.

They had a wide variety of personal musical influences. Bauer cites Third Eye Blind and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty; Wheeler mentioned KISS and '80's hair bands; Dalton said he grew up on '80's hair metal but also played saxophone in middle and high school. "So I have some jazz influences I pull out of the cellar every once and a while," Dalton said. Riley has been influenced by the '70's groups through today's music. "One of my first memories as a kid was sitting in front of my mirror with my KISS makeup on... trying to be Ace Frehley," he said.

Band members came together recently to celebrate the July release of their first album, The Painful Side of True." Bauer wrote all the lyrics, with the music written by him, band members, and others. "So far, we've been getting great feedback from it," Riley said.

A CD release party was held in July at the Elks Lodge, and the band was interviewed on Y106.9.

"I'm probably the most critical about it, about my parts," Dalton said. "But the CD as a whole, I love it. I had to cram to learn the songs to do it."

The Sexstone song "Where" is featured in the Big Biting Pig Productions new movie "Widow," written and directed by PJ Woodside. The group has played benefits for Relay for Life and CJ's Bus. Next up is a performance Saturday at a benefit concert and poker run in Slaughters. The event will help pay medical bills and travel expenses for Chris Goad. The poker run starts at 11am at the Downtown Market in Slaughters, with the concert starting at 4pm.

CD's may be purchased at Arcadia Station Liquors in Dawson Springs, Fantasy Limited Comics and Mainstream Body Art in Madisonville. Digital downloads are available at The album should also be available on iTunes and CD Baby soon. Or just send the band a message throught its MySpace page.

The band members have day jobs, so for now, music is a main interest. Bauer is a teacher, Riley works with mentally handicapped adults at Outwood, and Dalton works at Elektric Zone, a computer shop and satellite TV installer.

As for what inspired the bands name, that's something members won't reveal. "We have so many different stories about how the name came about," Bauer said. "We like to keep it a mystery. "The word used to be an Old English last name," he said. Riley said the name is not meant to carry a sexual connotation. However it can draw attention, he admitted. "It gets people to look at us too," Riley said.

For more information, visit

Lori Harrison
Messenger Staff Writer
- Lori Harrison, The Messenger

"Sexstone, "The Painful Side of True" CD Review"

Well add this band to my favorites, out of Dawson Springs Ky, this band has some great lyrics and what a great bunch of musicians. Let's see what all we have here, Thank You is the song they are thinking of releasing as a single. I love it, finally some real rock again! Steve Bauer on vox and keys, what a great singer. Yes I think this would make a great single! Where is an excellent song, the guitar work of Steve Wheeler, the drumming of Troy Dalton and bass of Trent Riley make for an awesome band that I will go see live. The lyrics are just great, guitars so beautiful, drums and bass are just right. This band deserves to be heard and seen. Falling Away is a favorite of mine, this should be getting airplay, thank God for the likes of MySpace, that is where the great music is, this song has hit written all over it, great vocals and lyrics, wow, this one is going in my IPOD too. I can't wait to see these guys live, they have got what it takes, this CD is fantastic. The Brighter Side of Blue is another great one, lyrically speaking which ever one of you writes, thinking it is Steve Bauer,great work! This is one tight band. They have a blurb on the liner notes, "If you can't feel it, it's not worth listening to", couldn't agree more. This is excellent work here, guitar is just like I like it, this band is going to make it, if they don't then it is not because of lack of talent. Finally some great rock is coming back out, consider The Sexstones one of the leaders, most of you know I am honest and truthful with my reviews, this band is awesome. Get this CD, check out their and they do! The first Time is a beautiful song, the lyrics are just awesome on this CD, they shine on this one, band you guys are fantastic! My Night with a beautiful guitar solo and some deep lyrics, band kicks ass, love this song! Wait For Me {Soilder's Song} is a sad and haunting ballad that will stay with me for awhile, a beautiful tribute to any soilder asking his or her love to wait. Again fantastic lyrics, I love this band, get yourself a copy of this soon. Ok I love You Know, it is the best, I love this one, we can all relate to this one about a relationship gone wrong. Sad, but so beautiful. Great vocals, You Know I never loved you in the first place, excellent song, Again that haunting guitar and dark lyrics, this band has my attention and know they are going to catch on. This is my favorite songs on this CD, please Sexstones get down here to Nashville, have got to see you guys live! A very well put together CD from beginning to end, love Screaming Daylight, another excellent song, the lyrics on this CD impress ma as much as the music, hard to find that these days. This one too has that haunting quality, I just love it. Another great guitar song, reminds me of the rock I love and grew up on. You guys stick with it, you are too good to fall through the cracks. This song is fantastic, love the thunderstorm effect, and ending with Lift, just a great song, love the harmonies and the band is great. This is a CD you can listen to the whole thing, and I love that. Keep the Faith Sexstones, you have got what it takes. Hope to catch you guys live! - Nancy Fisher,

"CD Review ~ Sexstone "The Painful Side of True""

This Kentucky-based rock group is literally bringing The Painful Side of truth on this new record. You get
a dose of the true rock & roll sound mixed with the harsh reality of life. You get a sense of pain & hurt, but done in such a lively fashion. Sexstone is made up of Steve Bauer on lead vocals/guitar, Steve Wheeler on guitar, Trent Riley on bass and drummer, Byian Thomas. It seems to me that Bauer is a perfect match for this band with his finely-tuned rock chops. Bauer appears to have the powerfully true voice of a real rock & roller. The rest of the band plays with such high intensity and you can really feel the chemistry. The album doesn’t just rock, but offers real life experiences and circumstances that can be good or bad. Every day life has its ups and downs and Sexstone does a wonderful job of touching on both sides. You can’t always have peachy & perfect prettiness without a little ugliness & cold, hard facts. The four members are dishing it out from both angles not leaving any room for partiality.

This KY foursome blends styles of hard rock, alternative and acoustic in such a distinct manner. You’re getting rock-your-socks-off moments gelled with some fine acoustic playing and then for fun deep feelings are touched upon vocally. An interesting array of music here, but all for a real purpose so it seems. No lies…No BS…No Filler…No Crap…just music that people can relate to on one level or another. I just wish our government could apply the same tactics to help better enhance our faltering society. But in the words of Aerosmith, I might as well say “Dream On”.

The record starts up with a fast & rockin’ tone with a sarcastic & cynical play on the word “Thank You”. Next up is a track titled “Where”, which offers soothing sensations brought on by acoustic guitar strings. I would call this song a slowed-down rock jam that has GOT feeling man. “Falling Away”, #3, goes into a little bit more deeper sense of emotions while “The Brighter Side of Blue” follows with an emotionally-drenched & heavy-set vibe. The middle of the album brings you one of my favorite cuts, “The First Time” due to its cool, rockin’ & rollin fever. The entire band really pushes and drives this song full speed ahead with the drummer bringin’ it home! “My Night”, track six, has some depressing vocals but meshed together with vibrant depth. While you can feel Bauer’s excruciating pains, you can also have fun and jam out. We go dark again with “Screaming Daylight” where you get some dismal words from Bauer mixed to a hard-hittin’ set. There are even sounds of rain, thunder and wind for added affect and feeling. Sexstone ends it all on an uplifting note with “Lift” where I hear the drums and singer connecting together like peanut butter and jelly. Overall, there is an all-around-band-effect evident here that cannot be denied or ignored.

For more on Sexstone and their debut album, The Painful Side of True, SKOPE out

By Jimmy Rae - Jimmy Rae, SKOPE Magazine

"Artist Review ~ Sexstone"

New Artist/New CD…Kentucky’s Sexstone Now on Froglix Radio
Thursday 17 September 2009 @ 9:28 am

Western Kentucky’s Sexstone joins the broadcast with selections from their debut disk The Painful Side of True. Steven Bauer (vox/guitar), Steve Wheeler (guitar), Trent Riley (bass) and Bryan Thomas (drums) take us on a musical excursion that travels over hill and dale while effortlessly flowing in and out of genre’s on it’s way to a place where the fundamentals of rock still reign. Sexstone understands that good song writing blows away any gimmicks one might add to a particular tune to spruce it up a bit. Put simply, these cats don’t need gimmicks to make their songs sound good…because they already do.

Chris Campbell
- Chris Campbell, FrogLix Radio


The Painful Side of True (2009)

Stripped EP (2008)



Driven by their philosophy that “if you can’t feel the music, then it’s not worth listening to,” the four piece Kentucky based powerhouse Sexstone draws on their brand of heavy rock with a vintage, almost psychedelic edge to explore, on their highly anticipated debut album, The Painful Side of True. Rolling lyrically like a diary of the life of lead singer and driving creative force Steve Bauer, the dynamic set includes newly revamped plugged in versions of four tracks that appeared in acoustic versions on Sexstone’s teaser 2008 EP Stripped.

When your home base is Madisonville and you hail from rural Western Kentucky, finding success as an indie band requires ingenuity, a lot of word of mouth, and literally creating gigs from scratch. Rather than listing hotspot clubs on their resume like groups from larger cities, Sexstone proudly talks about renting out VFW, legion halls and bigger shows at the town square in Dawson Springs. Their recent CD release party for The Painful Side of True drew 200 to the city’s Elks Lodge. Being part of a smaller town also means a lot of community based fundraising gigs, and Sexstone has built a strong rep in this area with shows benefiting the Make A Wish Foundation, Relay For Life and CJ’s Bus, which was named after a young boy from Evansville, IN who died in a tornado and raises money for disaster relief.

While the intensity and versatility of tracks like “My Night,” “Where” and “Wait For Me” might find listeners thinking that Sexstone was rockin’ this way from the get go, the current lineup and vibe actually emerged from a period of great evolution. Long time pals and founding members Trent Riley (bass) and Steve Wheeler (guitar) launched in 2004 with a different lead singer and a dark and heavy, “Doorsy” sound. While the original goal was to move away from previous cover bands and create a unit featuring original material, Riley and Wheeler whimsically tried a different tack at one point to draw attention and started looking for a female lead singer to flesh out their concept of doing 80s hair band songs with a country twang to it. While decidedly male, Steve Bauer, a Cincinnati bred singer and Madisonville based teacher, responded, sent a few MP3 files, auditioned live and soon became the lead singer and chief songwriter of the newly revamped Sexstone.

“Steve brought a huge songbook to the group, and many of the tracks on The Painful Side of True are the result of putting our own spin and arrangements to lyrics and songs he had,” says Riley. “We all really love the versatility, with some taking on a country rock flavor, others being pop-punk, with a little Three Doors Down and strong ballads. Steve Wheeler and I grew up loving those 80s hair bands and KISS, Stone Temple Pilots and Alice in Chains. Bauer draws from the 90s influences of Matchbox 20, Our Lady Peace and Third Eye Blind. It’s a great fusion of influences we can build on and progress with.”

The members of Sexstone—including new drummer Bryan Thomas—proudly assert that all of the songs on The Painful Side of True are about real life, geared to inspiring fans to connect with deep emotions and circumstances in their own lives. Case in point: who hasn’t been there at the end of a relationship, giving a sarcastic kiss off like “Thank You” to the lover who just left and ruined his or her life; the percussive, hypnotic rocker is the first single the band is submitting for airplay on various internet sites.

They take a more poignant approach to the graceful power ballad “Wait For Me (Soldier’s Song),” a song about a soldier leaving his pregnant wife to go off and fight, knowing his child will be born without him there. Sexstone dedicates the track to all of our nations soldiers; a video created around the track by a fan drew more than 10,000 in one day. Their melodic yet edgy mid tempo ballad “Where,” the first song Steve Bauer ever wrote which contemplates the sometimes scary future of a relationship, was featured in the horror film “Widow,” which debuted at the Louisville Frightfest.

“Our songs offer a balance between the cynicism of ‘Thank You’ and the hope of ‘Lift’ because that’s real life, always up and down,” says Riley. “We enjoy the feedback we get from fans everywhere we play, and it’s a great feeling to be onstage listening as they start singing our songs along with us. Everyone can take one of our songs and compare it to something in their own worlds, as if we’re providing a sort of therapy! But it’s a great feeling that keeps us striving towards our goal of making music full time and making it what we live for.”