OK, don't laugh. I know Tolhurst has taken thousands of shots for his drumming over the last 30 years, but I believe he was a genuinely unique player and an important part of The Cure's sound in its first incarnation.
Tolhurst's playing is typically straight eighth notes on the hi-hat, minimal bass drum use, and absolutely no fills, hi-hat slurs, or cymbal crashes. Just an infallible, thundering beat, utterly unembellished. On other songs, however, he might play a simple repetitive pattern on all of his drums, using his toms extensively, rather than merely keeping time. See "The Hanging Garden" and "Siamese Twins" for excellent examples.
His trademark was his lack of variation--if he started the song playing a particular beat, he would play it all the way through the song. This relentless, almost machine-like style was essential to The Cure's distinct sound.
Phil Thornalley, who was briefly the band's bassist and who produced some of their work before 1984, said that he was very impressed by Tolhurst's consistency and commitment. He had never seen another drummer who could concentrate and play in time over and over again like Lol could. He was even more impressed when he saw Lol playing live.
Thornalley said Lol's contributions to the band in its first phase have been severely undervalued, and that he created something unique on those first four albums, which not many musicians can say.
Just more proof that interesting work can be done even if the drummer has no real technical skill as a player.