Polar Bear
Chewing Gum
Dry Hump Records

If there's been a race to see which ex-Jane's Addiction member was to be the first to make really good music since the split, I'd have to say that bassist Eric Avery has won. Eric plays bass and sings on this second PB release (the first being an instrumental 12" on Man's Ruin) and does this ever kick. I wasn't sure at first (drunken drive home, not in the mood for anything too obtuse), but this is one of those records (only 5 songs long) that doesn't really get going until a good third of the way in. "Face" comes off sounding a bit like the God Machine's "Home" without the studded leather wrist bands. "Gimmee," where Eric sounds the most like Gary Numan channelling Peter Murphy, ought to be getting some heavy indie-rock dance-club rotation, all chunky guitars and loopy break-beats, with some tasty trumpet thrown in for flava. Look for a full length later this year. (RS)

source: snackcake

Polar Bear - "Chewing Gum (EP)" 1997

Dually fronted by ex-Jane's Addiction bassist Eric Avery and former Ethyl Meatplow sampler and drummer Biff Sanders, Polar Bear takes the rhythmic precedent of its member's two former employs - nimble punk-metal groove and thickly-textured industrial swing, respectively - and uses it to inform its own percussion-heavy surreality. Each cut here is built around its own massive, carefully detailed rhythm: Live and programmed drum loops create a foundation, Avery adds bass parts in and around the clanking drum tracks, and the remaining space houses bits of strings, piano, muted trumpet and assorted Middle Eastern musical oddities, further heightening and intensifying the groove. Guitarist Thomas Von Wendt beefs things up with some alternately steely and psychedelic string-work, often bringing a song to its climax with shrill, dense riffing and soloing. Couple all this with Avery's effectively shadowy vocals, and these five songs conjure up rich, sultry landscapes, hovering somewhere between post-apocalyptic, all-inclusive sonics and a more exotic, wholly new experience. Try "Gimme" or "Leader" for starters.


source: cdnow

here's a review in, um.. spanish, i think...
Polar Bear (1997)
Polar Bear

Éste fue el primer trabajo de la banda donde tocaba Eric Avery hasta hace poco tiempo. ¿Que quién coño es Avery? Pues el bajista de los todopoderosos Jane's Addiction, cuyas lineas de bajo para la banda de Los Angeles son de lo mejor que se ha podido escuchar en los últimos 15 años.

Tras el fallido proyecto con su ex compañero Dave Navarro, Deconstruction (1994), Eric desapareció del mapa. En 1997 se negó a reunirse con el resto de Jane's en la gira americana de promoción de Kettle Whistle (1997). Desde 1995 estaba embarcado en Polar Bear, un grupo desaparecido recientemente y que nos dejó dos álbumes realmente prometedores. Una lástima.

Este primer EP, Polar Bear (Dry Hump Recordings, 1997), conocido entre sus fans como Chewing Gum, fue su interesante debut, con 5 canciones facturadas de forma brillante. Rock industrial flirteando con pasajes experimentales algo reminiscentes del estilo de Jane's Addiction. El álbum se mueve en medios tiempos densos, con continuos cambios de ritmo y samplers entremezclados que van desde sonidos de Oriente Medio a percusiones muy poderosas.

Este trabajo puede encontrarse de forma relativamente fácil (repito, relativamente, que lo encontramos en una caja de ofertas "todo a 300") en buenas tiendas de discos. Lo que es más improbable es encontrar el único LP de la banda Why Something Instead Of Nothing? (PBRCD02, 1999), la cual cosa nos deja con las ganas de saber cuál había sido la evolución de un grupo, como digo, muy prometedor. En 2001, de nuevo Eric ha rechazado reunirse con Jane's Addiction para grabar nuevo material. Habrá que ver en qué otros proyectos anda metido. Tenemos confianza total en este hombre. Navarro, aprende.

[ Nekén ]

source: riff-fanzine

now here's a rough translation via google...

Bear Polestar (1997)
Bear Polestar

This one was the first work of the band where it recently touched Eric Avery until time. That who coño is Avery? Then the bear of the omnipotent Janés Addiction , whose lines of low for the band of Los Angeles are of the best thing than it has been possible to listen to 15 years in the last.

After the insolvent project with its ex- Navarrese Dave companion, Deconstruction (1994), Eric disappeared of the map. In 1997 one refused to meet with the rest of Janés in the American tour of promotion of Kettle Whistle (1997). From 1995 it was embarked in Bear Polestar, a missing group recently and that left two really promising albums us. A pity.

This first EP, Bear Polestar (Dry Hump Recordings, 1997), known between his fans like Chewing Gum , was their interesting debut, with 5 invoiced songs of shining form. Industrial rock flirteando with reminiscentes experimental passages something of the style of Janés Addiction. The album moves in half dense times, with continuous changes of intermingled rate and samplers that goes from sounds of Oriente.medio to very powerful percussions.

This work can be of relatively easy form (I repeat, relatively, that we found in a box of supplies "everything to 300") in good disc stores. What is more improbable is to find the only LP of the band Why Something Instead Of Nothing? (PBRCD02, 1999), which thing lets to us with the desire know which had been the evolution of a group, as I say, very promising. In 2001, Eric has rejected again to meet with Janés Addiction to record new material. It will be necessary to see in what other projects walk put. We have total confidence in this man. Navarrese, it learns.

[ Nekén ]

see also..
Raptorial Media Polar Bear reviews