Sound: Since 2003, Ludo has been a rising star on the alternative rock scene. Their first breakout album was I Love You, You're Awful in 2008 with their single "Love Me Dead" garnering a lot of attention on the charts. What most people don't realize is that they actually have a small, but quality back-catalog. Broken Bride is a 5-track EP rock opera originally released in 2005, and recently re-released in 2009. Andrew Volpe, the frontman, breathes life into the music with his highly animated and energetic vocal delivery and adds an additional guitar to the mix. He also did the majority of the writing for this album. Tim Ferrell handles the lead guitar work with an always interesting flair. Former bassist Marshall Fanciullo and drummer Matt Palermo keep you locked in with a steady groove and both have individual shining points. Last but not least, Tim Convy adds a little extra flair to each song on the synth.
01. Part 1: Broken Bride: the song drops in energetically, lets off to a vocal barrage by Volpe, followed by a catchy, synth-permeated chorus. Calms down after about two minutes and builds back up to a final epic chorus. Closes out with an energetic instrumental.
02. Save Our City: very vocally driven, song opens with a marching rhythm, segues into another catchy chorus, march beat stays constant throughout, chorus of voices at 2:50, followed by several repeats of the chorus with new vocal layers and parts mixed in each time, ended with an ethereal chant and the ringing of a bell.
03. Part II: Tonight's The Night: simpler than the other songs, but still retains a fun, upbeat groove throughout, cool percussion interlude at 1:53 with a little sweep riff mixed in.
04. Part III: The Lamb and the Dragon: starts off with a metal riff, followed by a chant and chaotic vocal section, folksy verses, overdriven choruses, a metal breakdown section at 3:20; converts to the melody of "Part I" for a while; mysterious, spacey section at 5:20, followed by a series of quiet reflective vocal passages.
05. Part IV: Morning In May: starts off with a lounge piano part, mostly piano and vocally driven, picks up intensity at 2:41, moody key change at 3:13, back to a vocally saturated chorus followed by an emotional, march-like outro. // 8
Lyrics: While I love the sound of the band, this album most definitely shines in the vocals and the detail and vivid storytelling of the lyrics. This album weaves a story of an anguished man or traveler who journeys back in time to save his wife from dying, but becomes lost in time. The album follows his struggles and reunion with his wife. "Broken Bride" (the song) speaks of his departure and becoming lost and trapped in the Jurassic period. "Save Our City" describes the chaotic happenings going on in the world after the traveler leaves which lead to the apocalypse. "Tonight's The Night" is about him remembering his wife and getting back to his time machine. "The Lamb and the Dragon" is about his return to the future where he arrives to the apocalypse. The traveler saves the worl and his time machine is destroyed, but the "powers that be" deliver him back to his wife. "Morning In May" closes the story out with his last moments with his wife and his decision to die with her rather than live through all of this again. The lyrics fit the mood of the music perfectly throughout the album.
Volpe's vocal delivery is bleeding with conviction and one could almost believe he is traveling through time and feeling sorrow for his lost wife. He is also complemented on numerous occasions by the rest of the band offering up backing vocals to create dazzling harmonic portions. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall, any given song on this album is pretty hard to label. Each song is full of twists and turns. What sticks out to me is just how much emotion and energy they pack into such a short album. The whole thing clocks in at under a half an hour, yet by the end you feel like you've just gotten done with an epic journey. My favorite portion would have to be "The Lamb and the Dragon" because it is like a fantastic, little genre sampler although it does take awhile to get through (8:16). I would definitely buy this again because it is so much bang for your buck. Ludo has a very unique sound, and because of that people are bound to not like them, but if you are open to a good groove and a good story in one, do yourself a favor and give Broken Bride a shot. // 9