If you have heard songs from Bowling For Soup, Dropkick
Murphys, or New Found Glory then you will probably feel
like Ludo are just duplicating these bands' ska-punk fusions
and pop punk romps on their self-titled release. There is very little
about Ludo's new album that would suggest individuality or demonstrate
originality. Ludo's self-titled album never lets up on having fun,
but their music also sounds dated, like they are taking audiences
back in time to when the Get Up Kids were breaking through
into pop culture. Ludo wear their punk rock threads like camouflage
to detract from whatever they can offer audiences on their own. They
show a preference to lean on the music that stimulated the foursome
to play their instruments and write songs.
It's difficult to tell Ludo apart from their influences. Every single
track sounds like it was made using a general pop punk template, even
the lyrics can be attributed to other bands. The angst expressed in
"Good Will Hunting By Myself" practically replicates Diffuser's
themes with verses like, "I've moved on, you know / I'm happy
now / Well, happy in a crying sort of way / You know, curled up naked
in the shower, biting your knees, wishing you were dead kinda happy
/ But, I realized you were right / We were never meant to be, and
you know what? / Thank God! / 'Cause you are the most vapid, whiny
blah I've ever met." The lyrics do a lot of ranting, opening
of wounds, and trying to figure out one's place in this world which
has its validity, but Ludo delivers their message in a way that copies
other artists' works, or at least it comes off that way to me.
The 2-disc set offers a live album to accompany the studio recording,
which gives audiences a taste of Ludo's abilities as live performers.
They play like animals and display an excellent rapport as a band
with lead singer/guitarist Andrew Volpe and guitarist Tim
Ferrell producing a pummeling action anchored by bassist Marshall
Fanciullo and drummer Matt Palermo who generate a pogo-pulsing
while keyboardist Tim Convy fills in the gaps. The band's timing
is spot on as they form brusque flusters and towering brews. Ludo
are excellent performers, but their songs are too generic sounding
to set them apart from those bands that influenced them to play pop
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