by Gerry Mak in New Music on Wednesday 1 July 2009

The Tinklers suck, but that’s what makes them so great. Their atonal, monotonous singing, and nearly non-existent musicianship have certainly won them some virulent detractors, but their unabashed niceness has attracted just as many loyal fans. Much in the vein of Half Japanese and Daniel Johnston, the Baltimore duo has plunked out silly, out-of-tune folk and pop numbers for 30 years, becoming indie icons in the process. Charles Brohawn and Chris Mason are classic underdogs, plugging on against all odds, and their harshest critics miss the point of what they do. A recent documentary about them, Everybody Loves the Tinklers, explores the impact the band has made, and addresses the controversial space they occupy in pop culture.