Polar Bear, the project conceived by former Jane's Addiction bass
player Eric Avery and one time Ethyl Meatplow drummer and sampler Biff Sanders,
will release a five song CD EP next month. To ensure their lineup is not
completely rhythm heavy, Avery and Sanders have added one Thomas Von Wendt to
their ranks on guitar. The group's eponymous EP will be issued on the Dry Hump
While Polar Bear is the band's first release to garner
attention, Avery and Sanders have actually been working together quietly for
two years. The group made its debut on an instrumental 12-inch single for Man's
Ruin Records (the label operated by poster artist and ATN graphics contributor
A combination of psychedelic and Middle Eastern ingredients
sets the tone of new EP. Even with the addition of Von Wendt, Polar Bear's
sound is very rhythm centric. On top of the guitar, exotic elements, and
Avery's overarching bass, Sanders lays on weighty percussion, comprised largely
of sampled and synthetic beats.
When Jane's Addiction disbanded following
the first Lollapalooza tour, Avery and Jane's guitarist Dave Navarro formed
Deconstruction. That band released a single self-titled LP before Navarro left
for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sanders came to Polar Bear on the heels of Ethyl
Meatplow's first album, Happy Days, Sweetheart. The group disbanded when
singer Carla Bozulich began fronting the Geraldine Fibbers.
Bear's lineage is likely the band's biggest selling point, Avery and Sanders
have shied away from trading on their past affiliations. Thus far they've
played out only in small venues without mentioning the band's membership.
They're currently slated to play a party for Man's Ruin next month in San
Francisco, after which they'll do dates in the Los Angeles area.