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Music / Ludo

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Ludo are an Alternative Rock/Power Pop/'geek rock' group from St. Louis, and practitioners of Genre Mashup and good old-fashioned Rock Opera.

Not to be confused with a villain from Star vs. the Forces of Evil or a friendly muppet from Labyrinth, though they are named after the latter.


  • Ludo (2004)
  • Broken Bride (2005) (EP)
  • You're Awful, I Love You (2008)
  • Prepare the Preparations (2010)
  • "Scare Me" (2020) (single)

"Trope Me Dead":

  • Abusive Parents:
    • The main character of "All the Stars in Texas" mentions that his tagalong girl had a crooked father who was both this and The Alcoholic. The main character shot him dead in disgust and took her along.
    • Also probable in "Hello, My Name Is Your T.V."; it's not specified that the parents are the ones "in that icy vacant lot [who] made [his] nose bleed" but they do fight loudly and leave him to fall asleep to the television every night.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • "Roxy" mentions this, featuring a man pining for the titular woman and asking if she doesn't return his interest "because I don't grope you and your friends/Like the fool behind you now, dancing halfway down your pants".
    • To a lesser extent, "All The Stars in Texas". It's about an Outlaw Couple, one half of whom joined the other in his life of crime when he killed her abusive father, although she seems to have taken to the life at least as much as he has.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: They have a few songs liable to make one feel this way. For example, "Roxy" is about a man lamenting that he's not the eponymous girl's type, while "Hum Along" has a protagonist wrapped in vivid fantasies about someone who they've never even heard speak.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: "Scream, Scream, Scream", in which the narrator vents his struggle to express himself to a love interest and his worry that his self-image as an honest and good guy is too "safe" to charm or move them, addressed to them. He seems at peace by the end of the song, however.
  • Bad Future: Broken Bride, namely the songs "Save Our City" and "The Lamb and the Dragon".
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Broken Bride album. The Traveler is repeatedly brought to the wrong, dangerous point in time by time machine malfunctions until he accepts that he can't save his wife and wishes only that he could see her again. It's then that he's brought to the morning that she died in the tender "Morning in May"... which ends with him opting to join her on her fatal drive so he doesn't have to be without her anymore.
  • Casanova Wannabe: "Go-Getter Greg", which is from the point of view of a clingy stalker repeatedly trying to cozy up to his new female neighbor from the moment she moves in while not getting the hint from her polite declinations; and "Whipped Cream", in which the narrator is a smashed lecherous guy coming on way too strong and entitled at the bar.
  • The Comically Serious: The whole band in the unofficial "Whipped Cream" video.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: "Cyborgs Versus Robots". A suitably badass-sounding hard rock song about, well, rogue androids battling tyrannical cyborgs.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The title of their fourth album, Prepare the Preparations.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Averted in the unofficial "Whipped Cream" video. The things they put whipped cream on become increasingly ridiculous, and it's done with such seriousness that by the time they're putting whipped cream in passerby's and each other's mouths you're too busy laughing to be reminded of anything.
  • Double Entendre:
    • Given that the chorus of "Love Me Dead" implies that the woman to whom the song's addressed is a very intense lover in the physical sense, the singer might not (or might not just) be insulting her when he says that "You suck so passionately".
    • The boyfriend in "All the Stars in Texas"'s Outlaw Couple finishes the song by seducing the girlfriend with the lines, "Let's hit it, baby, one more time/Let's see the goods nice and slow", echoing what she says when she's eager to go on another heist and what he's probably said to his share of marks to wrap things up on a reaffirmation of how much they enjoy their life together on two levels.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: "Drunken Lament" is, as the title may imply, from the perspective of a man on an extended post-breakup drunken bender - from a partner who, ironically, seems to have either dumped him for or generally warned him in the past about his self-loathing tendencies.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The main character of "All the Stars in Texas" is an unrepentant robber and murderer... but the song still manages to be genuinely kinda sweet because of how much he obviously loves his girlfriend.
    You were the prettiest thing I ever stole.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The songs "Broken Bride" and "Tonight's the Night" have a modern-day man trapped in the Cretaceous era.
  • Genre Blind: Many of the narrators of the songs, though the lyricists obviously aren't.
  • Gratuitous German: "Girls On Trampolines" starts with a count of Eins, zwei, drei, vier!
  • Halloween Songs: Their 2020 song "Scare Me" is an ode to the holiday, all about enjoying the shenanigans and break from mundane life it provides.
  • Heartbroken Badass: The Traveler in "Broken Bride". His character is quickly established as that of a brilliant scientist and Determinator on a long-standing quest to prevent the death of his beloved wife.
  • Hopeless Suitor: "Roxy" is from the point of view of a guy who's drunk and pining for the title character at a club or party as she dances with other guys, chagrined by her lack of interest in him.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: "All the Stars in Texas" is named for the starry-eyedness of the girlfriend in its Outlaw Couple when she's eager to go with her love on another stickup - which he, in turn, adores.
  • Large Ham: Definitely Andrew, most likely the other three as well. Not that this is a bad thing, as "Love Me Dead's" video proves...
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Air Conditioned Love" is pretty dark all over, but the last forty seconds or so are very much that.
  • Love Before First Sight: "Hum Along". The narrator admits they've only seen the object of their affection once during a graduation ceremony and have never even heard their voice.
  • Love Nostalgia Song:
    • "I'll Never Be Lonely Again" is all about reminiscing under the night sky to thoughts of romantic starry evenings spent with a past lover, long after things have ended.
    • "Good Will Hunting By Myself" is set up to be this, but near the end turns into an Anti-Love Song with an epic Take That! speech.
  • Love Hurts: All over the place. Ludo's catalogue of songs pertaining to love includes everything from grieving the loss of one's true love ("Broken Bride") to missing past flames ("Laundry Girl", "I'll Never Be Lonely Again") to bitter uneven breakups ("Good Will Hunting By Myself", "Drunken Lament") to toxic romance ("Love Me Dead") to self-hatingly pining ("Air-Conditioned Love", "Overdone") to how even the emotional intensity behind being in an active, reciprocated relationship can feel overpowering and scary in itself ("The Horror of Our Love"). While a good number of examples are presented with some humor or at least Camp, especially at the expense of more pathetic or petty characters, others are played quite straight.
  • Mad Scientist: The Traveler in Broken Bride. Mad is debatable... unstable, not debatable at all.
  • Male Gaze: "Girls on Trampolines" centers a bunch of teenage boys heading out to a party that promises to have tons of alcohol and, well, girls on trampolines. The emphasis and enthusiasm afforded to the latter is probably for reasons of the trope.
  • The Masochism Tango: "Love Me Dead." An ode to a coldhearted, exploitative, demanding partner whom the narrator alternatingly voices his disgust and adoration for.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The Broken Bride album, period. Mainly "The Lamb and the Dragon". It starts in a hard-rock metal-like solo, then turns western-ish. With whistling. And then the western tune gets hard-rock-ified. Then a depressing solo by the Traveler. It's awesome.
    • To a small degree, "Skeletons on Parade". It initially sounds like a group of undead laughing at Halloween and planning a nice parade, but later the shift from jazzlike to metal makes it darker as they talk about overwhelming the living in a small town. It finally reaches creepy with the line "NO ONE GETS AWAY". Then in comes the last chorus, which is nice and serene.
  • The Mourning After: The traveler in "Broken Bride" isn't exactly having an easy time letting go of his late wife.
  • Nameless Narrative: All the characters in "Girls on Trampolines" are referred to by epithets like "Party Guy", "Ride Guy", and "Officer 3".
  • Nerds Are Sexy: The band are unapologetically nerdy, and they wear it on their sleeves in a lot of their material - but they also have quite a number of sincerely romantic tunes and some surprisingly steamy lyrics in places, performed just as all-out as their more campy and quirky tracks.
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: Broken Bride.
  • Outlaw Couple: "All the Stars in Texas" centers on a pair of serial robbers and killers. The boyfriend, at least, wouldn't mind calling it quits to start a family sometime...
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: The narrator of "Good Will Hunting By Myself", up until he caves with his final "The Reason You Suck" Speech. He deadpans and seethes his way through lyrics about being totally fine with going back to the single life and how he and his ex are still such close friends.
  • Pie in the Face: The Whipped Cream video - the band's teaser vid (linked) AND the official clip.
  • Playing with a Trope: A lot of their songs are hard to classify due to their penchant for untwisting, zig-zagging between, subverting, playing for laughs and drama (often in the same song), and exaggerating tropes. For example, is "Love Me Dead" an Anti-Love Song, a Silly Love Song, a Break Up Song, an Obsession Song, or an Obligatory Bondage Song? Is "Battle Cry" a parody, a reconstruction, or played straight?
  • Rescue Romance: It's implied the girlfriend in "All the Stars in Texas" became smitten with the main character because he shot her abusive father.
  • Rock Opera: Broken Bride. It has pterodactyls.
  • Rousing Speech:
  • Rule of Cool: A lot of their songs run on this, especially those from Prepare the Preparations and their Rock Opera Broken Bride.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The basis of the Broken Bride rock opera is the story of an unstable but brilliant man building a time machine to go back and stop his wife from dying.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silly Love Songs: Even Ludo's played-straight love songs tend to be quite silly, and are maybe all the sweeter for it. Examples include "Anything for You", in which the narrator lists off a multitude of tall-tale adventures they've been on to their love only to claim that none compare to being with them; and "Manta Rays", which compares falling in love to sinking deep into a sea full of beautiful creatures or rising into space. Even "The Horror of Our Love", for all its frightening imagery, is meant to be a depiction of how intense romance and intimacy feel through extremes.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • The title character of "Go-Getter Greg". "Haven't seen you at the pool since the barbeque! Not that I've been checking..."
    • The narrator of "The Horror of Our Love" describes himself in a way deliberately meant to evoke this, in keeping with the theme of obsessively intense love.
      Silent sleeper, I've been inside your bedroom/I've murdered half the town/left you love notes on their headstones...
  • Take That! : The speech in "Good Will Hunting By Myself".
    But I realized you were right, we were never meant to be
    And you know what? Thank God
    'Cause you're the most vapid, whiny blah I've ever met
    Always making fun of my clothes, telling me how hot other guys are, asking me to pay you gas money?!
    Buy your own gas you bug-eyed mooch - it's your car and it costs more than my house
    Oh and now you're going around trying to sleep with my friends
    Hey good, that really makes you an empowered individual - no wait, did I say empowered individual? I meant two-cent gutter slut
    Listen you tanning-bed-baked, broke-ass, goat-faced, oompa-loompa monkey problem
    I am proud to shop at Target, I'll wear warm-up pants any day of the week
    Yes, your ass did look fat in those jeans, your mom's a M.I.L.F.
    And I plan to get on your little sister just as soon as I give her a call back
  • Together in Death: "Morning in May". The Traveler is finally allowed to return to his wife in the past after accepting he can't save her from her car accident. Once he does, he chooses instead to end his fifteen-year-long quest by telling her:
    Baby, I thought I'd come along for the ride...
  • Troperiffic: One review of You're Awful, I Love You pointed out that Andrew (who writes most of the lyrics) seems to write from the point of view of someone who learned everything they know about relationships from watching TV. (If anyone recognizes this and knows a link to the review, they're encouraged to provide.)
  • Tsundere: "Love Me Dead." Best summed in five words:
    • Which was the name of the album, so they probably knew how iconic that phrase would be.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • The verses of "Whipped Cream" are a Hurricane of Euphemisms that opens with the titular "I want it with whipped cream on it".
    • "Mutiny Below" is about a man whose ex reappears and asks for one more night together, but his conscious says no. Considering that he allows her in, no points for guessing what exactly said mutiny is.
  • Urban Legend: "Lake Pontchartrain", a first-hand telling of a supernatural experience at the eponymous lake.
  • Villainous BSoD: "Rotten Town" is from the point of view of a pirate who's wallowing in horror and guilt over becoming the kind of man he has after watching his crewmates drunkenly, wantonly mass-slaughter their way through a town they sacked and ultimately burned down.
  • Villain Song:
    • "Skeletons on Parade" counts, being about a gleeful army of the undead and going from lighthearted parody to creepy in the span of about a minute.
    • While it's not meant to be taken literally, "The Horror of Our Love" is a love song reimagined as this, the narrator describing his character, feelings, and actions as those of a Stalker with a Crush Serial Killer.
    • Depending on one's interpretation, "Lake Pontchartrain" could certainly count. Is the narrator telling the truth, or is the whole song him spinning a yarn to get off the hook for murdering his friends?
  • Woman Scorned: Or man, rather. The narrator of "Good Will Hunting By Myself" only barely disguises his bitterness towards the ex who dumped him throughout the first two verses of the song via sardonicism, only to work his way up to exploding with every thing that's ever irritated him about her in a final pre-chorus monologue.
  • Yandere: The narrator of "The Horror of Our Love" describes himself as such - "I'll fill the graveyards until I have you."
  • You Can't Fight Fate: The Broken Bride album ends with the Traveler realizing that every time he's tried to stop his wife from dying, the time machine malfunctions. Rather than try to save her life and fail once more, he chooses to die in the crash alongside her.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: "Save Our City" is an epic metal ballad about a zombie invasion.