After releasing one of 2018’s finest hunks of retro-rock (the downright dazzling Ain’t No Shame), Norwegian flower-power trio Friendship are kicking off the new year with the re-release of their 2012 debut single. Both “Alpha Male” and its corresponding b-side “Give It Time” show that the band’s knack for funky and fluid, sexy and soulful sunshine rock was in place from the start, whip-tight power-pop filtered through a kaleidoscopic lens of swaggering psychedelia.
Ain’t No Shame
Release Date: May 25, 2018
Ain’t No Shame, the eagerly anticipated second full-length from Norwegian trio Friendship, should be classified as a mood-enhancing substance. The first time I heard it, it pulled me out of the kind of piss-poor headspace that can only come from five hours cooped up in a car with two cranky children and an more than exasperated spouse. I was actually a little nervous to hit play that first time, for fear that my mental and physical exhaustion might negatively color my feeling toward the material. But by the end of the Monkees-and-Cream-playing-Cheap Trick opener “Are You Ready,” I was grinning ear to ear. Somewhere in the middle of the jazzy delight “Harmony Turns to Sound,” my dopey grin turned to slack-jawed awe. And within three seconds of the stomping funk-rock romp “Fire,” I actually laughed out loud from the combination of amazement and joy. I went to bed that night with a smile on my face and a sense of contentment in my heart, and I have Fredrik Skalstad (drums & lead vocals), Martin Morland (bass), and Sander Eriksen Nordahl (guitar) (along with their litany of guest musicians) to thank for that. It brought me up when I was down, and there’s not too many higher accolades than that.