The Skeptics Release new EP, Reloaded

Buffalo, NY. March 28, 2019. Buffalo-based The Skeptics released a new, four-song EP titled, Reloaded on Thursday. The veteran Western New York power pop quartet took a break from individual projects to recapture the magic that put them on college radio charts all over the country.

Tom and Dave each penned two songs for this tight little EP. The disc gets off to a rousing start with Tom’s fun-in-the-sun, “South Beach,” which grabbed a Bronze Medal at the Global Music Awards. Next up is Dave’s “Flat,” which will leave you anything but. The band continues with an acoustic trip down “Woodmancy Road” and finishes strong with the multi-textured “Bittersweet and Cold.”

Mark’s melodic bass playing adds something special to each track, while Danny K holds it all down with rock steady drumming and tasty fills.

Catchy hooks, compelling melodies, rich harmonies and a variety of styles – It’s incredible what these guys accomplish in such a short space of time. Load up The Skeptics Reloaded – you’ll be glad you did.

Listen to sound samples or download mp3s here.

Download from iTunes here.

Download from Amazon here.

Listen on Spotify here.

The Skeptics Reloaded available now for pre-order

The power pop quartet with a touch of punk are back with four new tracks featuring their signature combination of melody and edge, harmony and power. Features the Global Music Awards Bronze Medal Winner, South Beach!

Preorder on iTunes here.

Preorder on Amazon here.

The Skeptics Win Bronze Medal in Global Music Awards for “South Beach”

Buffalo-based rock/power pop band The Skeptics won a Bronze Medal in the Global Music Awards for the song, “South Beach,” off their four-song  EP, Reloaded, scheduled for release March 30, 2019. A sneak preview can be heard here.

The fun-in-the-sun track features songwriter Tom Mullen’s lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Dave Levin’s surf rock lead lines and vocal harmonies, Mark Buckley’s emphatic bass and Dan Komanski’s rock steady drumming and tasty fills.

“It’s an ode to sun, fun and exotic, beautiful women,” says Mullen, “as all odes should be!”

South Beach was recorded at Loft Studio in Cheektowaga, N.Y. and produced by Jim Sommer. It is the band’s first release since the 1990s. More information can be found on the Skepticsongs website at www.skepticsongs.com.

Tom Mullen Releases 2nd Solo CD, Unfamiliar Ground

Includes Global Music Awards Bronze Medal Winners

“You Were Right, Mr. Spock” and “Not in Love!”

Tom Mullen continues to grow as a singer/songwriter. His latest solo effort, Unfamiliar Ground, features five new, original songs covering a range of styles, including alternative, modern rock, rockabilly, and power pop.

 

Tom Mullen Wins 2nd Bronze Medal in Global Music Awards

The Global Music Awards announced its latest winners on Friday and Buffalo, N.Y. native Tom Mullen’s upcoming CD, Unfamiliar Ground,  yielded a 2nd Bronze Medal. This time it was the upbeat, power pop “Not in Love” that captured the honors. Mullen previously won Bronze for “You Were Right, Mr. Spock,” off the same CD.

“Established in 2011, the Global Music Awards is a well-known international music competition which celebrates independent musicians. Global Music Awards is widely recognized by industry insiders as giving legitimacy to highly talented artists. ‘Global Music Awards is recognized as music’s golden seal of approval,” says the official website for the awards.

“That’s an old tune I wrote when much younger and not in a band at the time,” said Mullen. “So, it never got recorded. It always reminded me of something Paul McCartney might have written during the Beatles’ heyday, around the time of Rubber Soul or Beatles for Sale, maybe. So, when I decided to resurrect it and couldn’t remember all the original lyrics, I worked in some references to Sir Macca and the Fabs. See if you can find them.”

Mullen sings lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar on “Not in Love.” He is joined by Gregg Deinhart (bass) of the Alexandria, Va. band Nowhere Men, Dan Komanski (drums) of The Skeptics, Doug Yeomans (lead guitar) of the Twang Gang and Steve Macdonald (background vocals) of Cock Robin. The track was recorded at Loft Studio in Cheektowaga, N.Y. and produced by Jim Sommer, also a member of Cock Robin.

Tom Mullen has been making music for over 30 years.  During the 1990’s, he was lead singer, guitarist, and principle songwriter for The Skeptics, an alternative power pop band that enjoyed regional acclaim and CMJ charting.  Tom has opened shows for national acts The Tubes and 10,000 Maniacs and appeared twice on A.M. Buffalo with The Skeptics, as well as Nickel City Scene.  He released his 2nd solo CD, Unfamiliar Ground, in 2017. More info can be found at www.skepticsongs.com.

Tom is originally a native of Buffalo, NY and graduate of Canisius College.  He earned a Master’s Degree in English from Buffalo State College.

Tom Petty Memories

pettyLike the rest of the music-loving world, I was shocked and saddened to hear of Tom Petty’s untimely passing this week. I suppose I took him for granted, assuming he would always be there making outstanding music, as he had for virtually my entire life. Now that he’s gone, I thought I’d share just a few memories of times the man touched my life.

I had just turned 14 years old when Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their breakout album, Damn the Torpedoes. In those days, if you didn’t have the album, you listened to the radio, waiting for your favorite songs to come on, and then turned it up as loud as it went when they did. It was the heyday of the “boom box,” the radio/cassette player combo that ran on batteries or AC. Mine was dark grey.

I didn’t have to buy Damn the Torpedoes right away because my friend, Andy, whose house I lived at when he wasn’t living at mine, had it soon after it was released. That is, one of his four brothers had it, meaning we had it, as long as none of them caught us playing it.

By the way, Wikipedia says Damn the Torpedoes peaked at #2, kept out of the #1 spot by Pink Floyd’s The Wall. But I distinctly remember lying on the floor of my bedroom, hearing Refugee come on the radio and the DJ saying it was from Petty’s album that had been “flip-flopping with Pink Floyd’s The Wall” for the #1 spot for several weeks. I know the internet is never wrong, but it peaked at #1 as far as I’m concerned.

By the time Hard Promises came out, my friend and I were militantly in opposite camps. He liked heavy metal and I liked punk and “new wave.” This was a divide that made Republican vs. Democrat or Yankees vs. Red Sox seem trivial. But we both loved TP & the HBs and were both hell bent on being at the show when the band came to town in the summer of 1981.

Andy’s older brother, Tom, took us under his wing in those pre-driver’s license days. And he had some sort of connection to get good tickets to concerts. Andy and I knew nothing of these worldly things. But, true friend that he was, Andy thought of no one else but me in terms of who would accompany him, his brother and his brother’s girlfriend to the concert.

There was only one catch: His brother also had secured tickets to the Judas Priest concert earlier the same summer. And if I wanted to go to see Tom Petty, I’d have to go with my friend to see Judas Priest.

It was a dastardly, albeit ingenious, move and he knew he had me. No way was I missing the what was to be the single-greatest moment of my life up until that point. But that a heavy metal band was to be my first-ever rock concert gnawed at me. I just hoped none of my other friends found out.

So, July 17, 1981, less than a month before the band I wanted to see came to Buffalo, I accompanied Andy, Tom and Tom’s girlfriend into the Shea’s Buffalo Theater to endure two to three hours of torture, the price for seeing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers the following month.

But even this story has a happy ending. Judas Priest was so good – instrumentally, vocally and, surprisingly, as songwriters – they won me over. I enjoyed every minute of the concert and was on my feet rocking with Living After Midnight by the end of the show. So, Tom Petty indirectly opened my mind a little that night by forcing me to give a different style of music a chance. I remain a fan of “Priest” to this day.

On August 10, 1981, the big night had arrived. And my “supreme sacrifice” the month before was richly rewarded. Andy’s brother had worked his magic to get us prime seats on the floor, no more than 10 or 20 rows back, right in the middle of the aisle. Petty and the band came out and it was like they had jumped right out of my boom box. Knowing their music much better than I had Judas Priest’s, I couldn’t believe how meticulously it was performed live.

It was just a year later that a friend from high school approached me about forming what would be my first band. I couldn’t play the guitar or sing a note, but I went all-in anyway when the bug hit me, wanting to emulate all my heroes, including The Ramones, The Beatles, The Who, and my all-time favorite, Buddy Holly. But we didn’t cover any Tom Petty stuff in those early days.

I can’t say for sure why, but I suspect it was because you really had to be able to play to recreate those soaring, jangling sounds. That’s not to take anything away from the aforementioned greats. I’m sure they would have all rolled over in their graves if they heard us – even though most were still alive at the time – but there was just no way to fake The Waiting or Don’t Do Me Like That.

I played music as a second job for over 30 years, having a little bit of success with a band called The Skeptics in the 1990s. We managed to crack a dozen or so CMJ charts and took the band about as far as we could without quitting our jobs and going on the road. And by then, Change of Heart and my all-time favorite Petty tune, Listen to Her Heart, were staple covers among the Skeptics’ originals.

In the early 2000s, I recorded my first solo CD, which I wouldn’t end up releasing until 2007. And when it came time to figure out what the cover was going to be, Tom Petty inspired me once again. Not being particularly photogenic, I couldn’t quite capture the attitude of the original, but the cover shot for A Glimpse of the Ether was based on Petty’s classic Damn the Torpedoes pose.

By September 2010, I had been living in Tampa, FL for six years and had a senior management position for a small consulting firm. The CEO of the company frequently invited me to events in his box at the St. Pete Times Forum and I couldn’t have been happier when he did so for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He and I drove to the arena together and I probably told him Listen to Her Heart was my favorite Tom Petty song about once every half mile. After almost thirty years since seeing the band in Buffalo, I wondered if they still played it.

Of course, they opened with it. It was all uphill from there.

It never occurred to me that I’d never get the chance to see Tom Petty live again. I suppose I could have made an effort to do so sometime between 1981 and 2010. But like I said, I took him for granted, especially when the digital age got underway for real and one could pull up video of the live version of virtually any song on one’s phone. I figured I’d get plenty more chances to see him again, his rhythm guitar still meticulous, his voice still soaring through Refugee or Even the Losers. Sadly, I won’t get that chance, but I’m sure glad I did get to see him twice. And I’m glad he left us a body of work that will live forever.

Tom Mullen has been making music for over 30 years.  During the 1990’s, he was lead singer, guitarist, and principle songwriter for The Skeptics. He released his 2nd solo CD, Unfamiliar Ground, in 2017.

Tom Mullen Wins Bronze Medal in Global Music Awards

Buffalo, NY native Tom Mullen won a Bronze Medal in the Global Music Awards for the song, “You Were Right, Mr. Spock,” off his second solo CD, Unfamiliar Ground. The track has been heard on over 150 radio stations and has been a staple of Mullen’s live performances since he penned the single in 2014.

The song is an upbeat blend of alternative folk rock and power pop, featuring Mullen on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Doug Yeomans on lead guitar, Steve Macdonald of Cock Robin on backing vocals, Tim O’Connell of Eden on drums and Mark Buckley of The Skeptics on bass. The lyrics protest man’s tendency to allow passion to overcome his reason in societal matters, including war, making use of the popular Star Trek character and his frequent commentary on the 1960s-era television show.

“I probably made him a bit more libertarian than he really was, ” says Mullen, “although I don’t think it was too far a stretch.”

Unfamiliar Ground was recorded at Loft Studio in Cheektowaga, N.Y. and produced by Jim Sommer, also of Cock Robin. It is Mullen’s 2nd solo CD. He released his first, A Glimpse of the Ether, in 2007. Mullen also has two releases as lead singer and principle songwriter of The Skeptics, Be Satisfied (1994) and Reloaded (2013). Links to all releases can be found on the Skepticsongs website at www.skepticsongs.com.

Mullen is the author of two books, A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America and Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? He has also ghostwritten two New York Times Best Sellers, reaching #1 and #3 on the list, respectively. More information on Mullen’s writing can be found at www.tommullen.net.

Welcome to the Official SKEPTICSONGS Website!

Tom Mullen has been making music for over 30 years.  During the 1990’s, he was lead singer, guitarist, and principle songwriter for The Skeptics, an alternative power pop band that enjoyed regional acclaim and CMJ charting.  Tom has opened shows for national acts The Tubes and 10,000 Maniacs and appeared twice on A.M. Buffalo with The Skeptics, as well as Nickel City Scene.  He released his 2nd solo CD, Unfamiliar Ground, in 2017.

Tom is originally a native of Buffalo, NY and graduate of Canisius College.  He earned a Master’s Degree in English from Buffalo State College. Check back for news, new releases and concert dates!