Rock ‘n’ roll can sometimes make you wonder if an instrument is also a weapon?
Jake Backer, vocalist/bassist of five-piece NYC band El Silver Cabs plays the hell out of his bass. But his onstage presence is so wild and energetic it’s a miracle he doesn’t accidentally murder his fellow band mates.
“I’m constantly narrowly almost slamming Mike [Turnwall-guitar] or Zack [Garnett-guitar] in the face,” he tells BTRtoday.
Influenced by ‘90s grunge and classic rock, El Silver Cabs’ sound is gritty. Backer’s harsh vocals ride over distorted guitars and drum rolls that rattle your brain.
El Silver Cabs pairs their grit with sweetness. The lyrics are emotional and relatable, accompanied by melodies so lovely your heart will burst. Some tracks display their sensitive side, like “Wouldn’t You Rather” and “Weekend,” while others, like “Shrink” and “Treading Water,” show the rough and toughness of this five-piece.
The songs on their recently released self-titled LP were written over the last several years. The album carries constant themes of broken love and panic attacks caused by distant memories. Backer explains that releasing these songs years after the actual emotionally straining experiences happened feels strange.
Most of the songs were written during a period in Backer’s life when he was having a lot of anxiety issues. “I was living in a different country, I couldn’t speak the language very well, and I was holed up in my room watching Netflix and freaking out all the time,” he says. “[The album] sort of strictly detailed this rough couple months.”
The track “Shrink” Backer points out as the “coolest” one, rhythmically and production-wise. He explains that he had a blast recording the end of the song where there are two dueling guitar solos playing in reverse.
El Silver Cab’s live performances look like epic battles.
“We get very sweaty—I’ve always felt like the most boring thing in the world is sitting in an audience and watching a band that just stands there,” he says. “We’re playing rock ‘n’ roll music—it’s loud, it’s fun, it’s energetic and we try to put on a show, swinging around and jumping and hooting.”
Catch the madness in real life on Aug. 19 at Brooklyn’s Gutter Bar, with fellow rockers Heavy Flow, WGD, and White Lighters. Listen to the debut LP of El Silver Cabs in its entirety on this week’s The Music Meetup, along with the full interview with Jacob Baker.
Just watch out for flying basses and guitars.