February alphabet of records Steve O - February 27, 2016

For the Innocent

X is for xTrue Naturex

For the Innocent

Self-Released, 2008

It’s not cheating. The first letter in xTrue Naturex is X, so therefore this is a legitimate entry. The fact that you don’t pronounce it doesn’t disqualify it. It’s not like Tsjuder wouldn’t count for T just because you don’t pronounce the T. (Let this count as the only time Tsjuder will be mentioned with a vegan acoustic project.) So yes, X is oddly stacked thanks to every straight edge band who puts Xs around their names. So thank you for making this letter much easier than it would have been otherwise.

xTrue Naturex might as well have a V in the middle of their name as well. And maybe a circled A and E in there somewhere too. It’s radical, anarchist, vegan, straight edge folk music. Wait, is that right? Damn straight. xTrue Naturex is pretty chill, playing all acoustic folk music, with meshing male and female vocals. Acoustic guitar and violin mix with songs of varying pace and intensity. “It Kills You to Know,” an Anchor cover, moves along at a slow pace, lulling you with the music, but the lyrics are anything but tame. “How can anyone chose death before life?” For the Innocent is full of vegan messages, from the opener “One Species,” where xTrue Naturex sing, “And when are we gonna see / that there’s no difference in suffering / one species / we’re all the same / we’re all trying to fight pain,” all the way through the title track closing out the half-hour record. “Total Liberation,” a Gather cover, is a call to arms, which shows xTrue Naturex’s ability to play at speed. To some it might seem preachy, and people will claim they don’t wanna hear it, but it’s no less of an important message than the ones being put out by your average straight-up punk band. Maybe being vegan straight edge myself, it seems like a really important message to spread, and not some pretentious, in your face message of animal rights. To hardcore carnivores, it might be the most annoying thing ever.

     xTrue Naturex

Elsewhere, xTrue Naturex put the X in their name to use in songs like “Be the Change” and “Ink Under your Skin.” “Be the Change” points out that alcohol and tobacco companies are the sorts of big, evil businesses that radical punks portend to oppose. “Ink Under your Skin” is a straight edge anthem, where xTrue Naturex wonder about those who have given up on straight edge, and announce why straight edge is important. “Industry of War” is a bit of the outlier here, attacking the military-industrial complex, opening with the immortal words of, “War / What is it good for / Absolutely nothing.” But at its whole, xTrue Naturex is a vegan band. “For the Innocent” is a self-manifesto, where they proudly proclaim, “For the million senselessly murdered / I am vegan … To bring the suffering to an end / I am vegan / Until the end.” And while it’s important to hear others reasoning, xTrue Naturex put it most directly near the beginning, in “One Species,” with the challenge “Go vegan / cause the animals don’t need your petty excuses.”