Belle Haven once again put the importance of mental illness at the forefront of their music on ‘Nobody Likes A Hospital.’
Belle Haven aren’t fans of hospitals, and who can blame them? Like, does anybody actually like hospitals? They are places of healing, duh, but also places of anxiety and death. And I can’t imagine such medical institutions are any happier now that Covid has entered the mix. My partner had surgery a few weeks back, and even just having to leave them as they went off to get prepped and put under, and then the time in between waiting for them to come back out now with 1% more scars, was a little stressful.
More specifically though, Belle Haven’s latest single is, whether literal or metaphorical, about the visual imagery and representation of punishing psyche wards, with its video showing a rundown prison ward. (Looking to be the same location in which their label peers in Gravemind filmed their ‘Volgin‘ film clip.)
‘Nobody Likes A Hospital‘ alludes to the treatment of patients within such institutions, the isolation suffered, and as the song’s video portrays in its final moments, the gross use of Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) upon these patients. An especially cruel catch-all procedure for some wards and hospitals to “treat” mentally ill persons, despite numerous concerns about the risk of making their conditions worse, as well as memory loss and even potential brain damage. (Interestingly, ECT is legally allowed to be used on children in all Australian states except for Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory; ECT is banned on under 14-year-olds in the former and is banned on under 12- year-olds in the latter.)
Keeping up with Belle Haven’s previous songs surrounding mental health, ‘Nobody Likes A Hospital‘ deals with being stuck in a deep, dark hole of depression; about feeling dead inside but feeling alive just enough to put all of these thoughts down into writing, into song form. Which is precisely how vocalist David De La Hoz explains where this new song came from:
“When you have experienced an awfully long and deep depression, death can begin to feel like the only way out of the pain. Loved ones will try desperately to reason with you, but depression is powerful. It can twist that love and compassion into selfishness. Sometimes the only thing that understands is the paper under my pen.”
As for this in-house self-produced song, it’s not an obvious Saosin rip-off like their last two singles, ‘Moving On‘ and ‘Forget Me,’ so blatantly were. So that’s something! Situated within the band’s usual brand of burning melodic post-hardcore sound, with their pop shades coming through in David’s strong vocal performances and runs, ‘Nobody Likes A Hospital‘ is a decent look at where Belle Haven are at in 2021. It knows the right time when to lay on the heaviness, with the chaotic instrumentals of furious drum fills and pounding low-string riffs, but also when to let suitably things breathe by using open space and some soft keys to add to the songs desperate and despondent theme and mood. It’s a fine track, but I won’t lie: it’s definitely not some new benchmark or personal favourite for the band.
‘Nobody Like A Hospital‘ is off new EP, ‘Time Changes Nothing,’ which is out April 16th.