Vertebrats A Thousand Day Dream

Until someone writes a fully comprehensive book of music history — something which is very unlikely — bands will always slip through the cracks and be forgotten. That appears to be true of the Vertebrats, a garage rock band from Champaign, Illinois whose output between 1979 and ‘82 has made them almost legendary in certain circles. Their biggest claim to fame is "Left in the Dark,” a song that has almost single-handedly ensured the band’s place in musical history. It is a jangly garage gem that has quite rightly caught the ear of many a listener since being recorded in the early ’80s. It has been covered over the years by the Replacements, Uncle Tupelo and is supposedly going to appear on Courtney Love’s new album (if it ever sees the light of day). A Thousand Day Dream represents the best of the band’s studio recordings, including some rather ropey demos that never got beyond their initial recording. Most of the other songs follow a similar garage template, with a rawness that can only come from a young band. The material has dated pretty well considering it is more than 20 years old and there are even a few more songs that compete favourably with their "big hit.” Nobody could make the case that given the right circumstances, the Vertebrats could have had a long and fruitful career, but based on this and an album of live material (entitled Continuous Shows), there’s no denying that their influence went much further than your typical local band. (Parasol)