We Are Childhood Equals 
Heart Aches For Home
~reviewed by Matthew Heilman

Heart Aches For Home is the second EP from Richmond’s We Are Childhood Equals.  I harboured a great deal of praise for the band’s debut EP This Is What You Asked For last summer, and I was very curious to see how they would follow the release.  The melodic Indie and sonic climaxes that characterized the band’s sound are still firmly intact, the Sonic Youth and Pixies influences still shine through brilliantly, and the dynamic shifts from contemplative quiet to controlled clamor are just as explosive and expansive, if not more frantic and disjointed.  The major difference I have found with this new EP is that the moods are a bit more varied, and there is less concentration on the pensive melancholy and nostalgia that made the debut release so intoxicating to me personally.  This album has a more hopeful vibe to it, probably best experienced in the lighter melodies adrift throughout the acoustic swirl of “Dandelion,” the EP’s addictive second track.

The band seems to be having a little more ‘fun’ on the album, as both “Fall” and the title track have tighter and punkish grooves to them, lots of jarring guitars which fuel Peter’s urgent vocals to occasionally spit out a nasally snarl that works very well.   The raw emotive vibe recalls Sunny Day Real Estate at their most urgent. A lumbering bass line rumbles at the heart of “Plane,” with peaks and valleys of noisy guitar chaos and some great screams courtesy of guitarist and back up vocalist Michael Otley. “Your Head Makes It So” is another jangling offering of bitter sweetness, soft and delicate throughout most of the track, but with sudden outbursts that crescendo at the song’s close.  Peter’s croon is joined by Michael’s most innovatively utilized screams, which appear somewhat distanced from the surface of the music, producing a kind of dreamlike effect where the listener is jarred and even questions if they even heard any screams at all.

Much like their debut, the opening track is what I would personally define as the EPs masterpiece.  On “Simple Emancipation” the vocal melodies ache the most, the collages of guitar shimmer and overlap each other’s watery grace and overdriven fuzz in the most evocative unison.   Overall, the band’s ideas seem to gel the most gracefully here.  Perhaps the sobering weight of the song is what gives it it’s mature distinction, due to my personal darker tastes.  It’s plain to see however that the band want to stir things up and offer more than just another depressive gray skied Interpol-type Indie band.  They have a lot of great ideas and an entire palette of emotions and human experience they hope to score.  Whatever the case, We Are Childhood Equals continues to be a wonderfully listenable band, with a superb inkling for melody and juxtaposition.  A thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable listening experience.  Check out the links below to learn more.

1.) Simple Emancipation
2.) Dandelion
3.) Plane
4.) Your Head Makes It So
5.) Fall
6.) Hearts Ache For Home

We Are Childhood Equals:
Michael Otley – vocals, guitar
Peter D’Alema – guitars, vocals
Melanie Barrows – bass
Phil Barbato – drums

We Are Childhood Equals – Official Site:

Pop Faction Records: