Another long-term resident of the Rock on the Range festival scene, Cavo returns here with THICK AS THIEVES, another thick slice of hard rock. The band certainly has matured since they made a name for themselves with breakthrough single, “Champagne”, and this album – their major-label sophomore effort – further refines that sound into something that remains accessible without pulling any punches. And for that reason alone, hard rock aficionados should find this latest offering a worthy enough entry in their library: fist-pumping choruses and belt-it-from-the-mountaintop bridges abound, as is both expected and appreciated. Frontman Casey Walker certainly knows how to sell a hook – whether we’re talking about a power ballad like “California” or a more gritty chest-thumper like “Hold Your Ground” – and it helps the band pump away riffs to their hearts’ content without fear of losing the more fickle of their audience.
Like most of the bands in this genre, there’s little to be surprised about here: the riffs are pummeling, drop-tuned affairs that lock in to the rhythm section early on and ride them out to the end. To his credit, guitarist Chris Hobbs does throw in his fair share of fills to keep things interesting, making due with his position as lone axeman by balancing the razor-thin tightrope between sounding too busy and making his singular effort overly apparent, to impressive effect.
Amongst a slew of recent releases from their contemporaries – including efforts from Janus and The Veer Union – Cavo’s THICK AS THIEVES stands out as the most polished of the bunch, with just the right amount of poppy hooks to accompany their genre-approved structure and style. While some might prefer to get their hands a little dirtier than Cavo is willing to allow, there’s certainly nothing wrong with a little squeaky-clean fun every now and again, and THICK AS THIEVES is spit-shined to perfection.
Standout tracks: “War Within”, “California”, “Hold Your Ground”.