Canadian indie outfit Great Lake Swimmers are one of those bands that I sort of like but have never been able to fully embrace. Over the course of a dozen years and seven albums, Great Lake Swimmers have carved out a perfectly respectable career and latest effort “A Forest of Arms” is sure to please the Toronto-based band’s longtime fans.
For me, however, this 12-track, 41-minute platter is much like their prior output. It’s a solid record, with no glaring weak links on the track list, but doesn’t rank with 2005’s “Bodies and Minds” or 2009’s “Lost Channels” as the band’s best.
Tony Dekker, Erik Arnesen, Bret Higgins and Miranda Mulholland are joined by new drummer Joshua Van Tassel but the Great Lake Swimmers sound remains pretty much unchanged. Among the stronger entries on “A Forest of Arms” are “Zero in the City,” “Don’t Leave Me Hanging,” “One More Charge at the Red Cape,” “A Jukebox in a Desert of Snow” and “With Every Departure.” (Jeffrey Sisk)