‘Like a Fire Engine’ by Dream of a Man in a Top Hat is a powerful alternative rock song that embraces the Post-punk era 


Over all I love this song and enjoyed listening to it. There’s alot to unpack here but I’ll give it a top rating for all that it brings to rock music releases for 2023. 

‘Like a Fire Engine’ by Dream of a Man in a Top Hat is a powerful alternative rock song that embraces those harmonies and melodies of the Post-punk era while retaining punk energy and urgency. This single consists of structures performed with a less commercial sensibility, pairing Pop songwriting with more eccentric, Punk-influenced sounds, moodier or quirkier lyricism, and sometimes ample amounts of distortion and fuzz. That’s the Alternative rock influences that pull the song strongly in this direction making it more easily relatable. 

‘Like a Fire Engine’ keeps the flow moving with a repetitive yet catchy chorus supported by an equally addicting bridge. There’s a steady beat maintained through the single with a short yet interesting grungy psychedelic rock guitar / base solo that almost sounds jazz influenced. The bass really stood out adding a nice unshakeable percussion that anchored the pace. 

It might blow your mind to know that this sound is coming from just two people. Lee Leffler (guitars, keyboards, vocals, lyrics) and Michael Frackleton (drums, bass, percussion, keyboards, vocals, lyrics) comprise the duo Dream of a Man in a Top Hat.

The vocals on this single are a blend of influences leading with effects and layered harmonies reminiscent of those edgy sounds of the past that were often crowded with chaotic and distorted guitars. The vocals have a slight distortion with phrasing and reverb pulling influences from the greats of psychedelic rock. 

Music Review by JACQUELINE JAX 

‘WHAT DO YOU GET’ when you take two thirds of Boston 80’s post-punk band Native Tongue, separate, age for 30+ years, combine, throw in some new technology, mix thoroughly and serve? Well, if it’s the guitarist and the drummer we’re talking about, then what you get is ‘Dream of a Man in a Top Hat.’

 The rehearsal space may now be two separate houses, lyrics aren’t jotted down on scrap paper but typed into a phone, the drums aren’t acoustic but electronic, and you can’t go and see them at the Rat or the Channel. But over the years one thing hasn’t changed. The same uncompromising sensibility can be found in the sounds that come out of these two. As music blogger mp3 hugger so aptly put it: “they have conspired to go about things in the only way they see possible and that means the rest of us have to shape up or ship out.”

In writing about their debut record, the 6 song EP Blunt Instrumentals (released summer of 2020), bloggers and curators described their music as: cool, grooving, swaggering, psychedelic, experimental, wild, infectious, seductive, chaotic and unique.

In the summer of 2021 Dream of a Man in a Top Hat expanded beyond instrumentals and added their own unique vocals to a new full-length album, Sudden Return Of DOAMIATH, startling and pleasing critics, bloggers and playlisters alike. Divide and Conquer music magazine concluded their review with: “Fans of psychedelic music will have a leg up, but this stuff goes far beyond anything I’ve heard in that genre. This is a wild and unique album… an unpolished classic along the lines of Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica or Music To Eat by the Hampton Grease Band.

Dream of a Man in a Top Hat are now releasing a series of singles including Unfamiliar Streets, All Time Is Borrowed Time, Cold Hard Dirt, Eggshell Minefield, Opposite Poles, The Destination, and the latest, Like a Fire Engine.

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