Review Summary: This young punk quartet exceed expectations with a surprisingly tight and well - formed debut.
I suppose it is worth mentioning, before I get to reviewing the album, that the drummer in Emily's Army is none other than Joe Armstrong, son of Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. In fact, Billie Joe even produced the pop - punk quartet's debut effort.
"Don't Be A Dick" is a surprising tight and polished record when you consider the band's collective age (at the time of recording, the ages of the band ranged from 15 to 17). Nearly every song has a catchy and memorable hook, even if after about three songs you begin to hear a bit of a sameness creeping in. But even that can be forgiven in exchange for some of the album's better, more enjoyable moments such as "Statutory Brain Rape", which has an insanely catchy chorus.
The music itself bears an almost inevitable resemblance to Kerplunk! era Green Day. Think mid 90's punk and you're on the right track. "Don't Be A Dick" has a young and enjoyable sound which, although not perfect, shows a lot of promise and I reckon another album or two down the line this band could be the next big thing.
In terms of content, the titles speak for themselves with names such as "Statutory Brain Rape", "Bad Cop" and "The Gutter", among others. They are exactly what they sound like - fun little punk numbers straight from the adolesent mind. There isn't anything of deep emotional worth here, just songs poking fun at girls who dress like "skanks" at Halloween (Ho Lloween) and how the video game industry is brainwashing you (Statutory Brain Rape).
Overall, "Don't Be A Dick" is just a fun record, with hooks galore and plenty of charm. It's hard to know if they will realize their potential and work out the kinks, or if in ten years they won't be around anymore. I for one sincerely hope they do stay put.