Destruct: Cries the Mocking Mother Nature 12” (Grave Mistake Records) Cries the Mocking Mother Nature is the long-percolating second album from Richmond’s Destruct. It’s no secret we’re enamored of Destruct here at Sorry State. A big part of that is that we get to see them live all the time, and Destruct is a punishing live band. Both live and on their records, Destruct live is an all-out assault whose fury, like the M.C. Escher staircase, seems to ascend infinitely. Destruct is just so fucking powerful, striving for and often attaining the same intensity that marked the Japanese hardcore punk bands that have shaped their sound. I’ve always heard four key ingredients in Destruct’s stew: Bastard, Disclose, Gauze, and Crow. They don’t emulate those bands so much as synthesize them, similar to how those bands synthesized—maybe even purified—their own influences. Also like those Japanese bands, Destruct is exacting in their execution. Everything about them is considered and calculated… it’s like they’ve combed through every aspect of their songs, their aesthetic, and their very existence as a band and maximized its power and intensity. Cries the Mocking Mother Nature is the result, and it’s one of the most coherent, powerful, and unrelenting statements of hardcore punk 2023 has to offer.