20 Jul 2019

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Manzo - Album Review: Attachment

01 Jul 2019 // A review by Peter-James Dries

The modern music industry has embraced the practice of style over substance for a while now.

We could blame streaming, the Netflix generation, or the entitled psychopaths we’ve bred through inattentive parenting, as required by dual income house-holding. But it was already happening before these darkening end times. Look at 90's pop, or 00's hip-hop. Pretty people, glossy clothes, catchy beat, but nothing underneath.

In a world where your meal ticket is a single that’s cheap to make and has some kind of hook to snare the attention of the unthinking masses there is no time for substance. If the reward is the same, why put in the effort?

This is capitalism manifest. The end goal of lazy efficiency. The final solution to the ageless question “how do I get the most profit from the smallest investment?”

As one of those at the bottom middle of the money pile, I feel a discontentment for this world we’ve created, and are proceeding to destroy. I get the same feeling from Manzo’s new album Attachment. A feeling of being disillusioned by the world the older generations unwittingly created in the pursuit of freedom and profit. I can hear it in the thoughtful, clever lyrics. I can feel it in the blatant disregard for the second long attention spans – a lot of work has gone into this album.

Bleak though it is through these nostalgic glasses, there is an underlying optimism here. Perhaps it’s in the fact of this album’s existence. Against every adversity Manzo is here making music, which farts in the very face of a profiteering industry. Perhaps it’s in the positivity of the closing track Smiley Face. The escapism of the reggae jaunt Big Kid.

Colourful. No, that’s not my synaesthesia flaring up again. Attachment feels like a painting with layers of notes forming brush strokes. A colourful collaborative mural on the brick in the wall that is the standard verse-chorus song construction. The intricate layered construction feels like a visual artist seeping into the aural world. That half Pink Floyd reference was intentional. There’s a bit of The Wall smudged across parts of this artist’s palette.

Actually, it’s a pretty filthy palette. In contrast to the companion EP, Beatniks on Toast, which is more of a bluesy rock band experience (mostly), Attachment is a treatise on experimentation. A love letter to exploring one’s creativity. A mirror to the modern world with its mixing of technology and fragile humanity. There are bluesy licks accompanied by electronica. There is rap next Beatles era lyricism. There’s dubstep of all bloody things mixed with classical piano. It’s a flower on a circuit board. Life growing in a simulated world. Yet, where crayon would be jarring on a watercolour, everything is mixed in so well here I feel no urge to suspend my disbelief.  

This is the work of artists, and with that transcends the medium of music and enters the lofty and ethereal realm of art. It edges the world of computer precision yet retains an imperfect human quality with the one tracked vocals over looped sections.    

Now my copy of the titular Attachment ended mid-sentence. Intentional or not, it’s an apt allegory. Attachment illustrates the monotony of office life, and the breaking of that cycle with the rest of the album is how the style, substance, and passion of the album breaks through the shit music we wade through. It’s like no other album you’re going to hear this year.

Yes. You can offer both style and substance, as the collective Manzo have demonstrated here, but in this world where a kid with a laptop Attachment will never get the plays it deserves. Too much effort went into this album for it to be ignored. I urge, nay implore you to listen. To find a comfortable space away from your social media, your emails, your office job and listen. Listen and breathe. Live.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Manzo

Manzo is the musical alias of outsider artist, Alan Hodgetts. Alan has never been shy about experimenting, using any medium or channel to communicate his ideas. Music gives him a popular platform to share his observations and social commentary, whilst providing greater opportunity for collaboration.

Originally signed to the Southern Collective label. Manzo is now a self releasing artist under his own label Manzo Music a member of the Music managers Forum NZ & Independent Music NZ.

Manzo will shortly be announcing the release date of his third studio album Attachment. It’s been a relentless, year-long project, culminating in an 11 track album, with a 4 track companion EP Beatniks on Toast.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Manzo


Year: 2019
Type: Album
Beatniks On Toast
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Year: 2016
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Peter-James Dries

Manzo - EP Review: Beatniks on Toast
01 Jul 2019 // by Peter-James Dries
Like every independent musician, I’ve felt the pain of checking my artist pages to find the first track is still the one with the most plays. I should be reassured that someone has put the effort in to try and listen to something I’ve spend months making.
River - EP Review: Endless Winter
03 Jun 2019 // by Peter-James Dries
I’m really glad music like this is still getting made. As a former bedroom rock star, borderline agoraphobic, and closet Goth, I appreciate the art form.
Second Prize - Album Review: The Heel Turn
30 Apr 2019 // by Peter-James Dries
My next review may seem ill-placed, in that Second Prize are a Melbourne-based band, and this is a New Zealand Music site.  But what is Wellington if not a waiting area for emigration to the land of more money and better weather.
Gold Medal Famous - EP Review: Five Track
27 Mar 2019 // by Peter-James Dries
There once was a band called Gold Medal Famous. This isn't a limerick.
Cruddy - Single Review: White Polka Dot Dress
27 Mar 2019 // by Peter-James Dries
Cruddy by name, not by nature.  Cruddy’s White Polka Dot Dress is a smoothly progressive, well-mixed electronic soundscape.
Polaroids of Polarbears - EP Review: Polaroids of Polarbears
13 Mar 2019 // by Peter-James Dries
In my middle years, those between the dawn of my consciousness and now, I spent a lot of time equal parts obsessed and jealous of and with Palmerston North’s prodigious Dan Ashcroft (Crackpot Theory, The Rock Shop), even before I knew him as a human. Back when he was just a faint drumming noise across my friend’s paddock on rare windless Oroua Downs nights, and I wondered why my mum hadn't bought me a drumkit.
The Stungrenades - Album Review: Class War: Fight Back!
01 Mar 2019 // by Peter-James Dries
Not many people outside of Taranaki think about the New Plymouth Hard Core scene. Actually, I don’t think New Plymouth itself is thought about by many people outside of Taranaki… It’s a shame really.
The Stungrenades - Album Review: Front Toward Enemy
28 Feb 2019 // by Peter-James Dries
Times have changed. In a world where we can say the F word on television, and if used appropriately you can say shit whenever you want, punk doesn’t have the same shock value.
View All Articles By Peter-James Dries

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Shawn Mendes And Camila Cabello
    Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
    Ed Sheeran feat. Khalid
    Ed Sheeran And Justin Bieber
    Post Malone feat. Young Thug
    Lewis Capaldi
    Billie Eilish
    Blanco Brown
    Ed Sheeran feat. Chance The Rapper And PnB Rock
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem