Prepare the Preparations
Ludo's fourth album borrows bravely from the cartoonish darkness of Oingo Boingo as frontman Andrew Volpe sings of skeletons, witches, curses, pirates, cyborgs, robots, leprechauns, grave-robbing lovers, and a cyclops, while his band plays quirky guitar-pop. "Too Tired to Wink" bounces on shadowy minor chords with a fractured fairytale feel as Volpe conveys that although he smells like a corpse, he's happy to be alive. In "Cyborgs vs. Robots" big rock riffs bolster novel vocoder-affected singing that recalls the robotic vocals on Midnight Star's 1983 hit "Freakazoid." The band takes a break from geeky fantasy to bust out "Whipped Cream," a catchy power-pop single of Fountains of Wayne proportions. The mellower "Manta Rays" floats on pedaling rhythms and romantic lyrics that somehow pulls off amorous sentiment with the imagery of flattened sea creatures.