The 'difficult' second album is one of the unchallenged myths of the musical industry. Second albums are rarely the difficult ones it's the third album that usually proves the most difficult. For most halfway decent bands the debut is an invigorating blast of youthful hormonal creativity. By the second album the young tykes have matured and started to experiment a little without veering too far from the formula that made their first album a success. By the time they come to write and record their third album either the well of creativity has run completely dry or they've started to believe the hype and end up with something akin to the sound of them disappearing up their own arses.

Unlike many 'difficult' third albums Endless Flowers from Californian noise pop five piece Crocodiles, manages to enhance their status as leading lights of the 21st century independent music scene. At a point in their careers where a lot of their fellow artists fall into audience alienating experimentation the noisy reptilians crawl closer to the mainstream with more emphasis on the sun drenched pop side of noise pop than their two previous albums Summer of Hate and Sleep Forever.

Crocodiles are not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. This is after all a band who share their name with the debut album from Echo and the Bunnymen, who incidentally also had an album called Flowers, and launch their latest album with the title track, a stomping homage to the scouse neo psychedelic rockers. If this isn't soundtracking the summer of the musical cognoscenti in 2012 I'll run around the 405 offices with my pants on my head. 'The Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)' is the kind of post punk wall of sound that'll have shoegazers admiring their footwear. It sounds like the noise echoing around Kevin Shields' head. 'Hung Up On A Flower' would sound right at home on Psychocandy. Endless Flowers may flirt dangerously with pastiche at times but it never degenerates into cheap Roller Cola style imitation.

For a brief moment it appears that third album syndrome may be about to claim another victim as the band start disappearing up their own backsides on the first two minutes of 'My Surfing Lucifer'. Thankfully it's no more than a brief detour and it's not long before the track morphs into a fuzzy pop gem that sounds like Marc Bolan on scuzzy steroids. Any thoughts of anal related disappearing acts are extinguished by the bassy 'Dark Alleys' and the agreeably trashy 1960s bubblegum pop of the perfectly named 'Bubblegum Trash'. The album fizzles away a little with Welcome Trouble and You Are Forgiven a couple of perfunctory fuzz drenched pop songs that are no more than forgettable filler.

Endless Flowers isn't a huge leap forward for Crocodiles, but by taking the sound of their first two albums and giving it a populist twist, they have effortlessly succeeded in leaping over the third album hurdle, a hurdle that has seen many of their contemporaries come a cropper.