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Album Review: Crocodiles - Endless Flowers

24 July 2012 | 2:40 pm | Steve Bell

Endless Flowers is as giddily flower-powered as its title would suggest, and a wonderful immersion in a world of guitar-based noise pop mayhem.

When San Diegan natives Crocodiles decamped to Berlin to record their third album they were probably hoping to emerge from the comparative dirge of their first two records, but it's unlikely that they were expecting to return clutching an album of noise pop celebration where verve and melody are at a premium and scuzz and downbeat attitudes a thing of the past. They're still in thrall to previous touchstones such as Jesus & Mary Chain and Echo & The Bunnymen – there's still feedback and fuzz aplenty – but they've expanded the range of both their writing and delivery, resulting in a more profound and ultimately accessible whole.

From the opening notes of the sentimental title track which kicks things off, Endless Flowers opens its arms wide and welcomes you in, warm and inviting but still with a hint of danger that won't quite let you drop your guard. The immediacy of great pop is diffused with the fuzz of psych and the knowing sneer of punk to elicit something quite distinctive. Standout tracks include the gloriously upbeat romp My Surfing Lucifer, which lodges in your psyche, the languidly fuzzy Bubblegum Trash and the orchestral stabs and '60s abandon of No Black Clouds For Dee (written by Brandon Welchez for his girlfriend Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls). Even when things seem to get slightly downcast (Hung Up On A Flower) it's never that bad (Crocodiles' tears, anyone?) and a silver lining always awaits.

Endless Flowers is as giddily flower-powered as its title would suggest, and a wonderful immersion in a world of guitar-based noise pop mayhem. If they eventually tour, dig out those dancing shoes.