Emily's Army is (clockwise from bottom left) Cole Becker, Travis Neuman, Max Becker and Joey Armstrong. - Photo by Natalie Nesser

Emily's Army advances on Ashland

Emily's Army doesn't deal in ambiguity. The punk band's debut album, "Don't Be a Dick," is as straightforward as its title.

Based out of Oakland, Calif., the four-piece band comprises bassist Max Becker, 17; guitarist Cole Becker, 15; guitarist Travis Neumann, 16; and drummer Joey Armstrong, 16.

The lads' catch phrase, the album title defines its tone and portends its teenage anthems addressing the pressures of adolescence and the frustrations of the generation.

"It was something we said to each other jokingly and nonjokingly," says Armstrong.

The album was produced by Green Day's frontman (also Armstrong's father) Billie Joe Armstrong and released June 14 on Adeline Records.

As part of its two-week Northwest tour, the band will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at CultureWorks, 310 Oak St., Ashland.

While embracing the youthful rebellion of the punk and underground music culture, the group is rooted in garage rock and power pop, acknowledging the influence of bands such as The Clash and Social Distortion.

The album includes 13 original tracks as well as a Flogging Molly- and Dropkick Murphys-style rendition of "Loch Lomond," a Scottish folk song.

"We all shape the songs, but Max and Cole are the ones that write the core progressions and the lyrics," says Armstrong.

The songs are based on various teenage observations. "Ho-lloween" calls attention to sleazy costumes that girls wear for the holiday. Another song ponders why sports stars and celebrities who do bad things continue to be idolized, and "Broadcast This" mocks music aired on the radio.

"We want to hear something that is not so manufactured," says Armstrong. "We want to hear something that people put all their energy and their hearts into, and I think that is something that we did."

Max, Cole and Joey have been pals since they were 4 years old and played on the same sports teams and hit the same pinatas. Joey and Travis, who joined the band in 2009, met in middle school, where they played together in a school rock band.

At first they called themselves Raining Souls, but "Raining Souls was such a dark name, and the music we were producing wasn't dark," says Armstrong. So they adopted the name Emily's Army in recognition of Cole and Max Becker's 15-year-old cousin Emily who was diagnosed with the chronic lung disease cystic fibrosis. (Emily's Army also is the name of their cousin's fundraising organization.)

The group will open the show for its touring buddies, Bobby Joe Ebola and The Children MacNuggits. The San Francisco Bay Area-based duo, featuring guitarist Dan Abbott and vocalist Corbett Redford, will present social satire and outlandish truths in its novelty music.

Cover to the show is $10. See www.emilysarmyband.tumblr.com or call 541-488-4888.

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