Sound — 7
From the moment I heard the song "Love Me Dead" on Fuse, I was instantly impressed, something that rarely occurs with me. It had infectious, catchy verses, with a big, fun chorus, all of which are traits that automatically catch my ears. But who was this band? Ludo, I would sooner learn, a St Louis based quintet. Based off this song alone, my instinct told me I should check out the album that "Love Me Dead" was from, "You're Awful, I Love You", and to eagerly anticipate more tracks like the one in question. Put simply, Ludo is a pop-punk band with tons of potential, but "You're Awful" really fell short of my expectations. The album incorporates the basics; guitar, bass, and drums, as well as some moog/keyboard. Nothing innovative, but nothing that really drags down the album either. What really keeps the album's head above water is a few stand-out tracks, including the afforementioned "Love Me Dead", and the odd, faux-myth tune "Lake Ponchartrain". Roughly half the album is fairly fresh and interesting, with original sounds, and a few excellent guitar solos, but the other half seems too familiar, and just a bit average.
Lyrics — 9
At the helm of this band is Andrew Volpe, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He has a strong voice, and carries his lyrics well over the music. The lyrics can be very dark, and stray from the cliches used by other bands within the genre. In "The Horror Of Our Love", Volpe sings, "Oh love, I'd never hurt you/But I'll grind against your bones/Until our marrows mix/I will eat you slowly". Refreshing, and original. His voice stays low throughout the song, and reflects the lyrics well. This remains constant in the album, which helps you convey the song meanings better. Overall, Volpe is a very talented singer, and his lyrics help "You're Awful" remain slightly original, and keeps the songs with average musicianship more interesting to listen to.
Overall Impression — 7
Musically, the album can range from run of the mill pop-punk power chords, to interesting, Say Anything-esque melodies, the former of which unfortunately dominates the album. Andrew Volpe's voice isn't too distinct. At times, the vocal style and delivery remind me of Justin Pierre of Motion City Soundtrack, which certainly is not a bad thing. However, I did get my expectations up a little too high, thinking the album would be littered with songs as catchy and fun as "Love Me Dead". They are fairly well constructed and well written, but some songs could easily blend in and be mistaken for something by All Time Low (not knocking ATL, I like them a lot), or another pop-punk band on the scene right now. There are a few good solos on the album, and the lyrics are redeeming, but at the end of the day, "You're Awful, I Love You" is just a slightly above average effort by a band with tons of potential. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on Ludo, they could easily bloom into an incredible band.