In the early-80s, the patron saints of the Champaign, Illinois music scene were a four-piece band named The Vertebrats, whose brand of simple, urgent, garage-rock --influenced by 70s punk and the British Invasion rock of the 60s-- defined the budding music scene. The ‘Brats were raw, dynamic and unpretentious, raised on The Clash, Rockpile, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Ramones, and Neil Young, and empowered by their peers, like The Replacements, Husker Du, and Mission of Burma. Ironically, what makes the band sound so vital today is probably the same thing that kept the ‘Brats from getting a record deal in their prime. The Vertebrats music was too tuneful to make them “punk”, too rough around the edges to qualify them as “new wave”. Despite their rave reviews in the rock press of the day, shortsighted label executives didn’t know what to make of their approach.
(text from: parasol.com)