If you’ve been feeling unproductive lately, procrastinating on tasks that you need to complete, even if it’s just finding new quality music to listen to, Dream of a Man in a Top Hat is here to tell you to quit postponing and try to be more “Like a Fire Engine.” And as for music searching, there’s no need; this duo’s hardcore musicality is your calling.
Dream of a Man in a Top Hat is a Boston-based band consisting of Lee Leffler on guitars, keyboards, vocals, and lyrics and Michael Frackleton on drums, bass, percussion, keyboards, vocals, and lyrics. Based on their most recent and first single of 2023, “Like a Fire Engine,” I can say that this duo has mastered crafting disciplined chaos that one can’t escape.
In a vintage/futuristic execution, “Like a Fire Engine” combines thrilling elements of Alt-Rock, Post-Punk, Psychedelia, and Rock ‘N’ Roll. All of the ingredients contribute to the theme’s vibe, including the title. These two musicians are pros who know how to transport the listener to their own musical realm, which is filled with varied fabrics of sensitivity.
The single starts off with full power as the instruments give an eager boost, hinting at what’s to come. Groovy, catchy guitar riffs, a heavy, outstanding bassline, and head-hitting drumming are building together a notable, profound, blazing rhythm that serves as can’t-be-detached earworms. The vocal harmonies have a retro kick that makes the song feel timeless. The nuances here and there say a lot about the band’s top-notch musicianship and how they pay attention to every detail.
The solid sonic wall of post-punk has some funk cracks that light up the disco mood. The vocal performance is somewhere between being melodic, powerful, and hunting. It definitely aligns well with the “I just can’t slow down” vibe. The single’s varied flairs will easily appeal to many, and while tasting the best features, Dream of a Man in a Top Hat leaves us with the fact that we need to hear:
“If you say that I’ll do it tomorrow
You probably don’t want to
handle it that way
Cause you’ll say it again tomorrow
And then you can’t
Get out of your own way”