The Tinklers' second album is a considerably lighter affair than the rather creepy and disturbing Casserole. Where that album focused on bizarre psychodramas, Saplings is downright playful in spots. Several tracks are silly exercises in spoken word onomatopoeia like "Zoom," "Chugga-Chugga," and "Quack Quack Beep Beep." Other tunes are somewhat more serious, like the true ecological story of "The Dodo Bird and the Calvaria Tree" and the vaguely disturbing "Kid With a Curved Spine." As before, Charles Brohawn and Chris Mason's Half Japanese-inspired brand of minimalist noise pop consists of little more than guitar, banjo, and simplistic percussion, so that even covers like Josh White's "One Meatball" and the traditional "Around to Maryanne's" sound like transmissions from a planet populated by mutants raised on old Holy Modal Rounders albums. Saplings is defiantly weird stuff, but it's not as difficult as the debut.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason