San Antonio’s Bi_Polar Bear brews up doomy, sludgy, psychedelic rock music with electronic and experimental flourishes that lend it a sublime sense of midnight wilderness. Comprised of producer/percussionist Eric Lopez, guitarist Jeremy Rounkles and theremin guru Mike Randolph (of Polysynth Fusion), the innovative group challenges the boundaries and broadens the scope of doom rock.
This Saturday, Bi_Polar Bear will celebrate the release of its sophomore LP Usurper, but a tragic turn of events has put a decided damper on the occasion. After being involved in a serious car crash, guitarist Jeremy Rounkles fell into a coma on June 4, from which he has not awoken as of publication.
The show, however, will still go on in a somber and modified capacity. Lopez, communicating with the Current via email, explains that “[Rounkles’ condition] changes the mood and all the plans for the show,” adding that the band now plans to “project a 30-minute music video of the new album” in lieu of performing. The video, which will be accompanied by live violin and vocals from Dirty Genez members Christina Quick and Jordan Moonz, will serve as a tribute to Rounkles. Lopez explains that “all of the money from album sales will go directly to fund [Rounkles’] hospital bills.” Lopez sincerely hopes that his friend and bandmate will recover, and when he does, that Bi_Polar Bear will continue its mission “to tour and play countless shows around the U.S., selling [their] merch to all [their] fans and hopefully gaining a loyal following so [they] can keep at this.” Here’s to believing.
Saturday provides the unique opportunity to both experience the splendid and raw music of a very promising young band, and to help support a local musician in need. Don’t let the grim circumstances fool you; this promises to be a show charged with meditative and creative energy. It is one of those rare moments when the harsh and chaotic nature of reality collides with artistic creation, when music’s transcendence is bolstered by a desire to find comfort and acceptance in the universe’s vast indifference.
Not only is Usurper a veritable thrashing beast of an album, picking up right where last year’s self-titled debut left off, but your purchase of it could provide hope and help where it is sorely needed. Check out Bi_Polar Bear’s debut album at bipolarbear210.bandcamp.com and come out to show your support. Also on this mind- (and genre-) befuddling bill are local eclectic electro outfit Ill Prospekt and Austin experimental electro-pop duo NGHT HCKLRS.
Bi_Polar Bear feat III Prospekt, NGHT HCKLRS Free 9pm Sat, Jun 28 Dor?ol Distilling Company 1902 S Flores (210) 229-0607 dorcoldistiling.com