Howlin' Magic is the solo project of Jesse Rakusin which is interesting because this sounds like a complete band of lost souls trying to find their way through the magic of overblown psych rock and no wave freak outs. Rakusin is inhabiting the same zone as people like MV & EE- that slightly out of sync musical realm where ideas seem to float past each other, occasionally lining up for a few glorious seconds only to fall back into chaotic nothingness. Rakusin's primary tools are the electric guitar and drums. Chords are hit hard and atonally with a bluesy sort of feel, lead lines are overdriven and fuzzed out, the drums are beaten ruthlessly, and everything seems to bleed together with the warmth of a cassette four track recorder.
"The Dreaming" starts of interestingly enough with all of the fury and chaos in full force, but after hearing a few tracks with the same approach the appeal starts to wear thin and I'm left ultimately wanting more from this disc. There are some areas where things get changed up a bit though like on "Mac and Bloo", which sounds practically like a 1960's pop song in comparison to the rest of the disc; and the track "Imagination is Power", which feels like the soundtrack to a documentary about the wonders of space played through a casiotone keyboard. Overall, I appreciate the lo-fi DIY approach of Howlin' Magic, but I think a little more variety in future arrangements and a bit more restraint will really push this music into a whole new dimension. 6/10 -- Charles Franklin (13 May, 2008)