Secret Discovery Pray

Despite being deeply drenched in moody, synth-infused, guitar-heavy goth, Pray is a pretty upbeat album, coming off something like black-lipsticked hard rock that tips its hat to U2 and David Bowie and has its toes in a pool with early Econoline Crush. Secret Discovery sing one track in their native German ("Sieh Nicht Zurück”) and another in French ("Une Dernière Fois”), but the rest feels more or less Anglified both in language and in overall atmosphere. The record takes the odd sidestep away from a steady level of mid-intensity rockiness — in one direction with wispy female backup vocals and in the other with a few thick and sandpapery guitar hooks. Those are just brief moments that hardly disturb Pray’s light metal vibe — that is until the closing title track, one of those slow yearning pieces that takes the album out on a bit of a downer but doesn’t completely sink Secret Discovery’s persistent buoyancy. (Drakkar)