Prepare the Preparations
“I’ve got a lot of people telling me that I smell like I’m dead/ Apparently, they cannot see that I’m already walking around without a head.”
That’s the opening line to the opening track, “Too Tired to Wink” from Ludo’s third album Prepare the Preparations and it perfectly sums up the St. Louis rock band. Like a harder version of Fountains of Wayne, Ludo bring a sinister, almost schizophrenic sense of humor to some killer tracks while also proving that they can write a great love song.
The lead single “Whipped Cream” is the only song that is under three minutes (2:56 to be exact), and it also is filled with double-entendres climaxing (pun intended) in the fantastic “Stacy’s Mom”-esque sing-along chorus “I want it with whipped cream on it/ Baby, give me, give me, give me your love.”
“Anything for You” follows that with a gorgeous love song that is scattered with lines that, if you’re paying attention, make this not only uniquely Ludo, but something that you could sing to your significant other that would make him/her feel all fuzzy inside while laughing his/her head off. Especially when you sing “I found a town of leprechauns and grabbed them all for wishing on/ But I would let them all go, just for you,” followed shortly by the line “[Kings] showed me wealth as far as I could see/ But their kingdom seemed all shrively and they cried with jealousy when I leaned in and told them about you.”
The positively brooding “Manta Rays” shows that they can write a solid pop song, while the Broadway-sounding “Skeletons on Parade” brings out the Mr. Hyde side and they spend almost six minutes creating a Halloween masterpiece. Then it’s followed up by a ’60s-sounding ballad “I’ll Never Be Lonely Again.”
The best line comes from “Battle Cry” when lead singer Andrew Volpe proclaims that “We’ll raise their kids/ And commandeer their wives/ We’ll curse their gods/ And drink up all their wine!” because “We will defeat the other guy!”
It is this schizophrenia that makes Ludo so great. They can flow between genres and tempos all while keeping a tongue-in-cheek lyric sheet and making it all sound like it is supposed to go together. Prepare the Preparations is Ludo’s best yet and is a must for anyone that misses new music from groups like Ben Folds Five and Fountains of Wayne.