My favorite bar is in San Francisco. Tucked in a corner alley and once residing underneath a strip club, Specs’ Twelve Adler Museum Cafe in North Beach is a dark and haunted shipwrecked hull of stories, songs and poems. True, half-true or completely borne in the moment, it’s no matter; those spinning the yarns are the fabric of Specs.
From the opposite coast comes Tony Tedesco & Full Fathom 5, at its core a seven-piece outfit hailing from Asbury Park, New Jersey. This summer the band released its debut, Full Fathom 5. Nautical themes aside, the color and vibrance of this album with its sea shanties, murder ballads and working class grit take me back to Specs.
My sails once terrorized the sea
My flag flew proud and high
I laid claim to all I found
Then buried it deep inside
As if a fly on the wall at Specs, the ten songs on Full Fathom 5 are overheard drunken tales of revelry, revenge and remorse. Vocal duties are shared between Tony and Audrey-Kate Geiger, a sultry, smoke-voiced chanteuse who holds her own on songs like “Bulletproof” and the plaintive “Lesson Hard Learned,” a double-sided tale of romance gone bad.
Fuck you dad you’ve done it this time
You’re gonna wake up tomorrow to find
A .38 caliber hole in your head
Tell me you bastard what’s it like
Point blank, a ruffian premeditates murder (“Fuck You, Dad”) while the table in the corner relays a jazzy noir tale (“Shoes”) as the indifferent bartender wipes away, having heard it all before.
Full Fathom 5 culminates with “Diesel,” a full-bar sing along with all denizens arm-in-arm as the day breaks, ready to fulfill plans made that will likely be slept off in a fog of hours.
Weathered and weary, Full Fathom 5 is a perfect album for today’s Talk Like a Pirate festivities. Grab some grog and smartly stream/purchase Full Fathom 5 below.