Carrying On

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As it includes a number of live studio tracks and a few pleasantly stripped-down songs, Carrying On demonstrates the Wicomicos' varied sound in several venues. Though lead vocalist Carmen Yates' vocals are at times a bit too acrobatic for some tastes, he uses the studio setting to polish and contain his vocals within a comfortable and effective range. The included lyric sheet not only depicts the intelligent writing of Yates and bassist Mikel Campbell, but it also solves the problem of swallowed and lost lyrics, making for an even more enjoyable listening experience. Though the small size of the live band did not translate into a small sound, the inclusion of percussionist Tony Ungaro, dobroist/banjoist/guitaristDavid Hamburger, mandolinist/fiddler Bob Green and an array of 15 other musicians (including the members of dOUBTING tHOMAS and Red Letter Day) enhances the nuclear duo's urban folk sound. As Yates and Campbell's voices complemented each other so well when they perform alone together, the additional vocalists add new layers to the band's sound and frame Yates' higher range in a new and interesting way. From the strummy, emotionally ranging title track to a very different "Buffalo Soldier," the album demonstrates an array of styles and moods, all connected by strong arrangements and heart-felt performances.