Blake Babies

Acts Playing South by Southwest

Blake Babies

God Bless the Blake Babies (Zoë)

A Juliana Hatfield album is always good for at least one quasi-redeeming, three-minute slice of pop heartbreak, and God Bless the Blake Babies is fully obliging in providing that requisite worthwhile moment on "Disappear." Unfortunately, that's about it. True, this isn't just a Hatfield album, but rather a reprise of her late-Eighties, Boston-based trio who were contemporaries of regional garage denizens like Galaxie 500 and Dinosaur Jr. The similarities never went too far beyond time and place as the Blake Babies always sounded as if they emerged from a safer, cleaner, more spacious, suburban garage. They still do, and as such, God Bless is tediously average. Hatfield's wispy voice is endearing, but the omnipresent sense of disappointment throughout the songs is banal. It's not entirely the band's fault, either; Hatfield and original members Freda Love (Antenna, Mysteries of Life) and John Strohm (Antenna, Velo-Deluxe) got help from the likes of Ben Lee and Evan Dando in being thoroughly ordinary. On "Civil War," Hatfield sings, "It's funny when you realize that you are a cliché." Actually, it's not funny. It's tedious. (Saturday, March 17, Momo's, midnight)

**

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