Review Summary: More than just vintage rock.
It is always refreshing when one comes across hard rock that sounds genuinely vintage to the point that it could have been released 50 years ago or so. Of course there is no parthenogenesis, but this power trio from Norway, despite the young age of its members, has taken specific ingredients from its idols, filtered them and eventually produced a sound of its own. From the very beginning of the album, one can hear that Friendship’s main influence is Grand Funk Railroad, which means that they play fuzzy hard rock/proto-metal with an emphasis on creating an infectious groove produced by their amazing rhythm section. At this point, special mention should be made of the spot on production which is ideal for a vintage album, as it allows the necessary breathing room for each instrument, including a very audible bass.
Another strong point of the album is its variety, as the listener can experience proto-metal heaviness such as on ballsy "Truth in Your Lies", positive vibes that bring to mind Spirit ("Got Me Feeling So Good") or melancholic songs with Krautrock elements somewhat reminiscent of Eloy (“Moments”). The latter includes a very emotional solo which elevates the song and is something that these guys could have integrated more on the other tracks of the LP. Of course the band’s palette doesn’t stop here, as they go into funk-rock territories (“Fire”) or even all-out funk with a flower power flavour and female vocals on album highlight “Live Peacefully”. At the same time, they pay a visit to their Swedish neighbours Graveyard on the filthy “Alaska Night”, which sounds like something that Blues Pills would have loved to have on their sophomore release. Overall, the LP is a warm and hazy experience, while its running time of almost 42 minutes is ideal. When it’s all said and done, classifying Ain't No Shame
as retro rock doesn’t do the album justice, as these guys have managed to produce something that could easily travel back to 1970 and still stand its own ground against some of the music that influenced them.