No Good Deed is a band from Des Moines, Iowa comprised of Rob Reeves (vocals), Doug Hansen (guitar, vocals), Jeff Morgan (bass) and Tim Schmitt (drums). The band formed in 2011 and ended up playing the Summerland Tour with Everclear, Sponge, Filter and LIVE. After taking a listening to their album Looking For A Mantra it doesn’t take a lot of guess work to figure out why they were asked to play. I’m sure you already figured out that the commonality of all these bands is they have what you can call a ‘90s alternative sound.
The songs on Looking For A Mantra sound like a mix between The Gin Blossoms and Urge Overkill. I think the appeal of their sound may be a generational thing to some extent. If you like myself were in high school or in your twenties in the mid ‘90s I think you most likely will have a soft place in your heart for Looking For A Mantra. This type of music is probably a bit less forgiving with people who are in that age bracket now.
The album was recorded and mixed by the band but mastered professionally. I have to say the results are pretty impressive for a number of reasons. First off the band really nailed that ‘90s sound that only added to the nostalgic effect of the music. Second, it’s a fact that a mastering engineer can only do so much with a bad mix. It was obvious to me that the band knows what they were doing when it came to recording and mixing because all the elements were clear in the mix and I didn’t hear a lot of the common pitfalls you can hear on DIY recordings.
Looking For A Mantra comes in at thirteen songs, which for this day and age is a lot of music to consume. Even though there were a lot of tracks most of them were around two to three minutes, which kept the energy flowing. The journey through the thirteen songs is pretty consistent and the band doesn't deviate too much for the ‘90s power pop sound they establish.
From the get go you get a nice dose of distorted guitar, hard-hitting drums and catchy vocal melodies. They start out strong with “The Truth,” “Frank Sinatra” and “Here I Am” all of which are upbeat rocking songs that can pretty easily get stuck in your head.
The only minor deviation comes from “Back In Time,” which sounds more like a ‘90s Tool song during the verse. They rock out pretty hard and are on the verge of metal at times. As the album progresses, there were a couple of more songs that were notable including “If I Confess” and “Doubt.”
Looking For A Mantra isn’t an album that is trying to reinvent the wheel but rather it tips its hat to music that has come before. If you were into ‘90s alternative music and can’t get enough then this album is a no brainer but if you left that music in the ‘90s then this might not be up your alley,
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