The Irresponsibles
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The Irresponsibles

Band Pop Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"The Noise"

Peter "Monty" Montgomery harbors no delusions of grandeur about the early days of The Irresponsibles—the questionable venues, revolving door musicians, cliché-packed songs—and this is one dude who makes no apologies for experiments tried while growing up. Even the gross ones. These days, Peter and bandmates Mark Nigro, Drew Kuhn, and Dan Rudack have such strong confidence in each other and in their music that they cheerily throw open the closet and laugh at yesterday’s skeletons. "I played my first gig in 1985 when I was like, a little kid," burbles the always-smiling Peter when I catch up to the band for a quick interview before one Lizard Lounge show. "We were always trying to use shticks? And dressing a certain way? It was stupid." At a noisy side table in the redly lit bustle of a Lizard Lounge soundcheck I learn that producer Barry Marshall (Aimee Mann, Peter Wolf) first taught Peter how to play guitar. I learn that the first Irresponsibles show was at something called "the Ranch House" in Marshfield, MA. I learn that it would be a few years before this plucky South Shore band would begin winning awards with their delicious pop gems, most notably a Musician Magazine’s Best Unsigned Band award that grabbed the attention of Adrian Belew, who produced their last record, When Pigs Fly. What I don’t learn is why, with glowing reviews nationwide and respect from pop aficionados, The Irresponsibles still lurk just under the "big buzz" radar in this town—for example, they’ve never played the Rumble. "Yeah," acknowledges Peter, "but I think we’re kind of coming into our own lately." One of the most endearing things about this band, aside from the late ’60s/ early ’70s pop tunes freshly spun, something like a Beatles-meets-Toadies confection, is their respect for each other. "Mark is the best musician in the band," says Peter. "Most proficient, best musician. Andrew Kuhn is the hotshot, the young ’un. The little fire that needed to be put under our butts. It’s probably why we are popping out of the Boston media now, because of that guy. Danny, he’s the sexy one," Peter continues. "The sexy rampaging stand-up drummer. All these guys are my brothers, I love ’em. No matter what success or non-success we have, we’ll always be a tight-knit little unit. Maybe in 2020 we’ll do weddings."

This month The Irresponsibles are releasing a new CD, Quality of Life, and they’re sweetening the event by also putting out a five-CD box set. It’s as good a time as any to chat up these four cuties about what it’s like to live in their world.

- Lexi Kahn

"Krimson News"

Joy! A new Irros release. :) Few things in life are so sweet. Although all the of the tracks are unique to this album about half of them have been released, (5 of 12), sort of, when they were doing the "Farmclub" thing a few months ago.

Featured on this album is new guitarist, Andrew Kuhn, who might I say, is on the path the greatness with some scorchingly hot guitar solos sprinkled in just amounts throughout the album. Of course in these boys from Boston we also get the rightious talents of Dan Rudack on drums, Mark Nigro on bass, and of course, lead singer, guitarist, and bandleader, Peter Montgomery.

I've been anticipating a new release from the Irros ever since I saw them live at the Variety Playhouse with Adrian Belew a few years ago. My waiting was not for naught. This album shows growth, promise and best of all, pretty darn good music.

People who haven't heard the Irros before should expect a lip smacking hook driven psycho story of virtuouso musical achievement that has become a difficult find on today's "top 100". Generally residing in the bars and music clubs of the band's local gigs to the Boston area, they've truly advanced far beyond their "When Pigs Fly" offering which was produced by Adrian Belew in 1998 after the Irros won the Musician's Magazine "Best Unsigned Band Of The Year" award and they were introduced to a very interested Adrian.

All in all this is a natural progression for them, a fact that fans of the Irros will greatly appreciate.

The new album they've released is full of the Irros' type of catchy and might I say, incredibly well written songs. In the "Quality Of Life" the songs are similar, but have been kicked up a notch. The songwriting is much more intricate and the chord progressions are at once familiar and foreign to you can be surprised yet still sing along. For instance, at some points you will listen to a song and think, "Hey, this is pretty good!", and then, a whole new level is brought in, that's even cooler, and you think "WOW!", then it accelerates from there.

No folks, it's not Crimson, and it's certainly not Progressive, but I for one am a lasting fan a very very Irresponsible group. Here's to their sure to be very bright future! Make sure you check out their website, HERE!!!, for more info on this and their other music. They have many many songs available for download. Right now I'm finding myself listening to their MP3's of Slings & Arrows and Aggravator.
- Mr. Crimson

"The Boston Phoenix"

It's always a sweet feeling to have the last laugh, and the Scituate-based band the Irresponsibles are currently getting it. Fronted by singer/guitarist Pete Montgomery, the group have been together 10 years, but they could barely get the time of day from the local music community. They released three CDs that didn't sell big, scrounged for low-glory weeknight gigs, and elicited a round of critical indifference. But if local folks didn't jump on the Irresponsibles' bandwagon, Adrian Belew, Matthew Sweet, Jimmy Jam, Pat Metheny, and Steve Winwood all did: they were among the judges in Musician magazine's 1996 "Best Unsigned Band" competition -- and when the results were recently announced, the Irresponsibles were the first-place winners.
"I think Boston is a really tough nut to crack," Montgomery notes when we track him down by phone. He's just played the highest-profile gig he's done with the band -- two Fridays ago at Mama Kin, where the Irresponsibles unveiled their new, four-piece string section -- and he's now exchanging tapes with Belew, who'll be producing their next album over the summer. (Belew's last outside production, for the Christian band Jars of Clay, sold more than a million copies.)

"Boston is a real snobby area; having good pop songs, a good voice, and a good band isn't enough to get people to notice you," Montgomery points out. "One of my goals has always been to come up with something that would make people take interest; and maybe we've done that with the string section. I mean, I've been trying to get into the Phoenix for 10 years."

Since I was one of the critics who ignored the Irresponsibles the first time around, it seemed a good occasion to give their recent CD, Big Orange (Isabelle), another chance. When the disc arrived last fall I gave it a perfunctory spin; I thought the craftsmanship was admirable but the approach was too soft. Playing it again, I felt the same way; there's talent here ("Reinventing the Wheel," one of two songs on their contest-winning tape, is a clever little pop song about writing clever little pop songs), but I hear too much cleverness and not enough urgency. For all the XTC comparisons they've garnered, a slicker band like Crowded House or the Rembrandts would be a more accurate measuring stick. Less encouraging is the way Montgomery overdoes the wordplay at times, and some of the softer songs approach cutesy Angry Salad/Guster territory. My guess is that the Irresponsibles have had a struggle not because pop's unfashionable but because there's already so much good stuff around.

That said, it's always encouraging to see success come to a band with their hearts in the right place, and it's a safe bet that Belew's production will bring out the edge that the current album lacks.

"I've been doing the same thing for 10 years -- same kind of songwriting, same kind of production," Montgomery notes. "For a time everything had to be low-tech, and you were square if you had the lush, juicy production that I like. Music went through the lo-fi stage, the grunge stage, and the hip-hop stage, and now it's coming back to good pop songs
- Brett Milano

"THE Noise"

Cutting right into their set, The Irresponsibles have all heads turning their way. Boston-esque backing vocals - sounding like a rock musical, but without the need to tell a story. Lead singer Peter Montgomery high fives a kid in the front row wearing a Yanni jean jacket who's hyped up 'cause this is no New Age crap. Just plain and simple-straight-up-rock 'n' roll. Good stuff. Such a fresh change from your typical Boston rock band. There's some great songwriting here. Moving through the set into a slow jam, Peter Montgomery dedicates one to the ladies, the most over used line in rock. It's effective, but reminds me too much of the lead singer from the Silhouettes in the film La Bamba. Completely redeeming himself, he screams in Sam Kinison fashion about a girl who did him wrong. Great songs. Great vocals. Tony the Tiger never tasted music like this.

- Joseph Kader


Quality of Life -2001
When Pigs Fly-1999
Backward Boy 1997
Big Orange- 1996
Snacks & Prizes- 5 songs on the Compilation CD 1995
Aggravator- 1992


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Boston-based power pop band the Irresponsibles was founded in the late '80s by lead singer/songwriter and guitarist Peter Montgomery. This witty yet hard rocking team spent several years in their own backyard, perfecting their highly appealing live performances of Montgomery's unique songs. Thanks to all that and one important bit of recognition, they finally found the entrance ramp to a larger audience. Dan Rudack, introduced to Montgomery by a mutual friend, has been the drummer from the outset. Mark Nigro, the Irresponsibles' former bass player recently left the band and Bob Moulanson has taken his place. The second guitarist/backing vocals spot has been filled by several people in the band's history. The first was Dave Thomas, who was with the band until the mid-'90s. Later, Paul Santo was with the band for a brief time. Since 2000, Andrew Kuhn has filled that position. Montgomery has proven to be a consistent and prolific songwriter. (There have been a few co-writes with band members, such as Dan Rudack, and Paul Santo.) His compelling pop melodies, paired with wry, self-deprecating lyrics, create a unique product that often seemed to be at odds with much of the Boston band scene. For a several years, Montgomery and his bandmates continued in the path of many song-driven band projects without financial backing. They put out self-financed CDs in order to build a following and attract industry attention. The band's first CD, Aggravator, a collection of 13 songs, was released independently by the band in 1992. In 1995, the Irresponsibles contributed five songs to a 15 song compilation called Snacks and Prizes, in conjunction with recordings from two other artists. Montgomery produced all the tracks on that release. 1996 saw the release of the next Irresponsibles CD, Big Orange, with 13 more original songs. But the end of 1996 was to see a distinct upturn in fortune for the Irresponsibles. That year, they entered Musician Magazine's Best Unsigned Band in the Country Competition, and well-known guitarist/songwriter/producer Adrian Belew happened to be one of the judges. Belew is known for his sophisticated and intelligent approach to pop and rock. Early in his career, he was a guitarist with Frank Zappa, and then went on to be a contributing member of the band King Crimson, as well as to have a varied and respected career as a solo artist. Soon after the Irresponsibles found out that they had won the competition, the magazine contacted the band to say that Belew was interested in working with them. He was so impressed with the band that he offered to produce their next work at his studio in Nashville. Belew was the recording producer for sessions that resulted in the release of a six-song EP called Backwards Boy in 1997. Six songs from later sessions were added to the original six to create the album, When Pigs Fly. After the release of When Pigs Fly, the Irresponsibles opened for Belew on his 32-state summer tour in 1999. The following winter, the Irresponsibles embarked on their own tour of the southeastern United States. These tours helped the band to build up a national fan base. Besides Adrian Belew, the Irresponsibles have opened for such musical notables as the Del Fuegos and Emmy Lou Harris.