One of the smarter acts to emerge over the past few years, Ludo is led by singer-guitarist Andrew Volpe, whose humorous, off-beat perspective fuels a dweebish power-pop panache that recalls Weezer and They Might Be Giants. Volpe's wit guides the St. Louis quintet through pop-culture-addled paeans, from the jangly "Ode to Kevin Arnold" and lovelorn "Good Will Hunting by Myself" to the E.T.-checking "Saturday Night Thunderbolt," which begins when "some sasquatch, wookie-boner spilled his Mad Dog down my shirt." The act followed its terrific 2004 eponymous debut with a concept EP titled Broken Bride, in which a man travels back in time to prevent his fiancée's death. February's middling major-label debut, You're Awful, I Love You, features some of the same clever, perky arrangements, including the masochistic single "Love Me Dead," the manic apartment-stalker anthem "Go Getter Greg" and "Lake Pontchartrain," which sounds like a dark cousin of They Might Be Giants' "Constantinople."


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