Trying to get a handle on Ludo's music is a little like forcing six blind men to describe an elephant having felt just one side of it. Listen to "Whipped Cream,” the first single from the band's 2010 Island Records/Island Def Jam Music Group release Prepare the Preparations, and you hear what co-founding member, vocalist and songwriter Andrew Volpe, dubs "'70s butt-rock," delivered with a deadpan, tongue-in-cheek irony even Weezer would appreciate.
After forming in 2003 and releasing two independent albums on its own Redbird label – 2003's self-titled bow and 2005's concept album Broken Bride (both re-released in 2009 by Island) – Ludo scored a Top 12 Hot Modern Rock track in "Love Me Dead," the burlesque-style necrophilia smash. While humor is a vital part of the group's approach, its musical chops place the group closer to art-prog artists like Frank Zappa, They Might Be Giants, Ben Folds, Randy Newman, and Queen than to a novelty act. It's kind of a blessing and a curse," admits keyboardist Tim Convy about the band's sense of humor. "But it's a large part of what we do. We're just trying to be genuine and true to the cornucopia of human experience. We have songs that are dark and creepy as well as songs that are stupid and fun."
How can the same band be responsible for the spacious dub-wise world beat of "Too Tired to Wink," the band's look back at the exhaustion of two years on the road working on its last record, and the '50s soul torch ballad "I'll Never Be Lonely Again," its scratchy gospel organ underlining Volpe's sweet ode to his grandparents' romance "on a hot Kansas night?" "I'm a Romantic with a capitol R," says Volpe. "I think the moon is beautiful, the stars are beautiful, the mountains and ocean are beautiful. The same way the macabre can be beautiful. Those standard 19th century poetic images still work, even if they are clichés. Just because you're intelligent doesn’t mean you can't have fun. Sometimes it's okay to just indulge." Perhaps that's the best way to describe Ludo: simple, genuine and down-to-earth, but smart. This band can be funny, but also dead serious about its craft – in all, a rock 'n' roll band for the post-modern 21st century.