Itchy To Move: Ex Press Drop Debut EP
Released on March 18th, Itchy To Move is rooted firmly in its punk rock rhythms and approaches, featuring high tempos and short track lengths. But creative songwriting and instrumentation featuring a liberal amount of warbling keyboard and even a blaring horns section on the single “Headrest” keep the EP consistently fresh within the confines of its relatively short length.
“I’m just going to attribute that to Devon’s immense talent and focus and for him to be able to zone in on those types of things,” said member Matthew Fudge, of primary songwriter Devon Milley. “He’s been obsessed with this for a long time.”
Fudge and Milley have worked together on multiple projects in the past such as the late 2000’s Colonel Craze and the Hunch, a noisy, groove-laden alternative rock outfit. After an absence from working together for a couple of years, Milley sent Fudge six tracks which were met with instant approval.
“Every one of these is awesome,” Fudge recalled of his reaction to Milley’s tracks.
Milley said “A whole lot” of influences went into the creation of the record, citing Wipers, Nick Lowe, Radioactivity (who’s guitarist Daniel Fried directed filmed and edited the video for “Headrest”), The Attractions, and The Ramones were on heavy rotation.
“He basically showed me the history of punk through this project,” said Fudge.
Mixing and mastering duties were carried out by Daryl Palumbo, a personal hero of Milley, and frontman for bands Glassjaw, Head Automatica and Color Film. In addition to producing the album, Palumbo also takes vocal duties on the tracks “Headrest” and “Big Figure”.
“Daryl Palumbo is my favorite artist,” said Milley. “Always has been. I heard he was doing some mixing and whatnot, so I reached out. He genuinely enjoyed our music and we hit it off on a personal level, so it worked out perfectly.”
Ironically but fortunately, the stillness imposed on touring musicians seemed to benefit Ex Press in the creation of the EP, as guest musicians Habibion and Webb were eager to get working on something during the inactivity of the pandemic.
“We still had a couple songs without vocals recorded, so instead of waiting I thought it would be cool to ask some people for help,” said Milley.
Fudge thinks that the international collaborations on this album may inspires others to look outside the island for opportunities, noting that being an artist in Newfoundland comes with an inherent disconnect from the rest of the mainland.
As for the future, Milley is continually writing music for the project, and the duo hope to press to vinyl sometime in the future, stating the audience they cater to is “going to expect that”.
“That would be exciting,” said Milley. “Fingers crossed.”