I Voted for Kodos - My New Obession (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

I Voted for Kodos

My New Obession (2006)


When a record ends up being your last, you probably hope it will be a nice swan song, a good summary of your career. If My New Obsession is a swan song for the four years that I Voted for Kodos was performing, then as harsh as it sounds, perhaps it's a good thing I haven't heard any of their previous releases.

While I Voted for Kodos used to be a ska band (and a few ska moments definitely come through), this album is rarely more than Fueled by Ramen-esque pop-punk with a few horns and moog thrown in the mix. Just imagine a mixture of early Fall Out Boy and the Rocket Summer with the aforementioned horns and you're probably close to the mark.

The more ska-influenced songs are definitely the highlights here, and though they are few and far between, they do have their fun moments. The verses in "Please Die in a Fire" or "Three Days ‘Til Rome" are great ska bits, but then the chorus takes away anything that the song had going for it. This seems to often be the case with My New Obsession: a fair amount of potential that isn't fulfilled. Though some of the songs sound like they have the potential to be rather catchy, there's something horribly depressing about singer Rick Bisenius' voice. Though pop-punk might often contain lyrics that mope over lost love, it's usually done in a fun and upbeat manner, but that's not the case here. Though Bisenius has a good voice, it often doesn't fit the tone of the music, and sometimes the lyrics and music can veer close to the territory of bad "screamo." I mean, really bad "screamo." "These Scars Won't Heal Themselves" stands out like a sore thumb with grating background screams and lyrical gems like "this is the way you break my heart / no one bleeds as much as I do / cut myself to feel just like you."

I suppose that I Voted for Kodos did the right thing in calling it quits. My New Obsession reveals a band confused as to which direction to take, stumbling to mix various influences into one convoluted disc, and it would seem that retirement was the best option. Now we can only hope that the show that inspired the band's name will do the same.