There’s no point denying it, Emily’s Army are immediately interesting because of my complete and undying love for Green Day; frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s son Joey lays down drums for the Oakland quartet and Billie Joe himself produced the album. That out of the way however, and I found myself with a fairly long (14 track) debut album that was full of good times.
The Green Day references are potentially going to be tenfold in a review of this album, it’s inevitable. The production is a lot glossier, but many of the songs on “Don’t Be A Dick” sound and feel as if they could’ve come from the pre-Dookie era from Armstrong, Dirnt and Cool and many people may slate them for this, but it’s a winning formula and it works for them. The Becker brothers Max and Cole submit their dual vocals perfectly and the guitar work of Travis Neumann is extremely proficient for a lad of his age; it’s easy to forget that this band is aged between 15 and 17.
In an age where Justin Bieber dominates pretty much whichever airwaves his management wish him to, it’s extremely refreshing and relieving to come across guys of the same age producing real, thoughtful music and this is expressed on the opening track “Broadcast This” as the band slates the dull cloned music reigning over the mainstream of 2012. “Don’t Be A Dick” does exactly what it’s supposed to do; communicate to the teens and make anyone older forget their real age and bob up and down in delight. “Asslete” displays a frank and honest view of the sporting elite, and “Statutory Brain Rape” proves that not all teenagers believe everything they see and hear in video games.
The first half of the record is certainly the stronger, with a fair amount of filler in the latter tracks before an extremely unlikely but strong finish in traditional Scottish song “Loch Lomond”. This doesn’t really affect the enjoyment of the album however, as despite the seemingly lengthy track list Emily’s Army strike their last chord at 34 minutes, therefore any filler is over as quickly as it began.
At the end of the day, this band can’t help who their drummer’s father is, and that it’s thrust them into the spotlight. One thing is for sure however, and that is that Emily’s Army would be pleasing Gilman Street crowds with their fun-filled strain of punk with or without this kind of backing, and will continue to do so. Stick it on, don’t take it too seriously, and you will not fail to enjoy yourself.
Keep up with everything Emily’s Army at http://emilysarmyband.com/