No Good Deed is refreshing, not only because there aren’t enough Des Moines area bands doing the post-punk sound well, but because it is a band without a single member younger than your faithful scribe.
“I came from Ames, originally,” said guitarist Doug Hansen. “I was a part of the music scene in Des Moines back in the late ’80s.”
“Yeah, I’m the youngest one here,” said 44-year-old frontman Rob Reeves.
No Good Deed’s component members of Reeves, Hansen, bassist Jeff Morgan and drummer Tim Schmitt cut their teeth in some of the great central Iowa bands of the ’90s: Squidboy, Moveable Feast, Supervolt and The Miltons. But they all came together as a band in a decidedly 21st century manner.
“Craigslist,” Schmitt said.
Once the four guys found each other, the first batch of songs they started working on came from a bunch of demos Hansen brought with him to the group. That gave the group a nice place to jump off from, but it also kept them from forming a true identity for a while.
“I’ve always said that if we get around to making another album, that’ll feel a lot more like us,” Schmitt said. “This one (“Looking for a Mantra,” released last month) sounds really good, but it’s a little bit schizophrenic, because it came from all over.”
But the band members are still proud of it. Done on the cheap — they recorded it in their practice space, and Hansen mixed and engineered it himself — the album captures the band’s loud, driving sound. But No Good Dead is a group that feels like it is just starting to hit its stride.
“If you were to listen to the songs played live now, they would sound very different from their recorded form,” Reeves said. “We’ve played them and worked on them, and we’ve really found a new sound for them.”
No Good Deed certainly isn’t the only band of “old timers” out there. Squidboy is still going strong after 20 years, and House of Large Sizes started playing again a couple years ago. But the more the merrier. Keep on rocking, No Good Deed, and let the millennials and hipsters know that the Gen Xers will not go quietly into that good night. CV