The Tilt Room
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The Tilt Room

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Indie





The Tilt Room is a three-piece band fronted by Mike Swindell (guitar/vocals) and backed by Anthony Pandolph (bass) and Justin Hackett (drums) from Pittsburgh, PA. The band recently released an eleven-song album entitled Nostalgic Future.

There isn’t an electric guitar to be found to my ears on Nostalgic Future. Swindell’s main weapon is an acoustic, which really defines the band's sound. Some people might associate an acoustic with ballads, guitar picking and songs that in general can’t rock that hard. That simply isn’t the case here. The songs have plenty of energy that is vibrant, kinetic and quite dynamic.

The band has stated that they have been compared to disparate groups such as Radiohead and Rusted Root. After listening to their album I would say that their music veers towards the latter. The music felt too upbeat, jovial and celebratory to be compared to Radiohead to my ears. I felt like some of the instrumental work actually had more in common with a band like The Dave Matthews Band.

The band doesn’t waste any time introducing you to the vibe you can expect from the rest of the album with “The Crutch.” It’s the shortest song on the album and in some ways felt like an intro. They start to really flex their technically muscles on the next track “Five Boroughs.” Hackett and Pandolph do a great job supporting the guitar chords. The myriad of bass notes and tom heavy beat really give the song the energy it needs. Swindell delivers a solid vocal performance displaying his dynamic and emotional range.

“On the Edge of Time” benefits from a number of distinct transitions from the rolling snare work to the subtle breakdowns and build ups throughout the song. You certainly won’t be bored listening to this track.

The centerpiece of the album felt like the title track. This song is arguably the most emotionally resonant on the album. The violin certainly adds an additional layer of meaning but the vocals feel very heartfelt on this track. ”Define Yourself” at least sounded like the fastest song on the album that has some noteworthy technical work while the closer “Near Life Experience” eventually works it way to a extended crescendo that solidifies the band's talent.

​Nostalgic Future is a consistent, seamless album from start to finish. It seems obvious to me that the band not only was able to create a number of well-written songs but was able connect the energy and vibe of them as well. - No More Division

"Enter The Tilt Room"

Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Enter The Tilt Room

Fans of singers with elastic voices, in the vein of Dave Matthews, Martin Sexton or Michael Glabicki (of Rusted Root), should check out Mike Swindell of The Tilt Room.

The Pittsburgh band is releasing its full-length album, “Nostalgic Future,” with a show Friday night at Club Cafe.

The Tilt Room dates back to 2003, when the singer and bassist Matt Dacierno formed Bacchus with a punk-rooted sound. Over time, they transitioned more toward a layered indie-rock sound — prog even, according to Mr. Swindell.

Having bad luck with drummers, they performed for a while as a duo, before hooking up with Justin Hackett in early 2014. Last year, Mr. Dacierno died suddenly, leaving the Tilt Room to regroup again, with bassist Anthony Pandolph.

“Nostalgic Future” finds The Tilt Room as an acoustic groove band with Mr. Swindell’s octave-leaping vocals dominating the sound.

“In many ways. I think stylistically this album has helped us find our identity, not only as a band, but musicians,” the singer said in a statement. “It's not easy coming together as individuals and creating that right sound. But when you do, something special happens as a unit, and ideas start flowing more.” - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

"The Tilt Room"

“ From strong melodic, almost hypnotic acoustic tracks like ‘Go Find Yourself’ to the driving hard rhythms and energy of ‘Radical Revolution’, Tilt Room’s 2011 EP ‘Achilles High Heels’ is a great calling card. It shouts out a wealth of influences that excitingly intertwine to create their own distinctive contemporary sound that will echo through time. Where heart felt lyrics shatter our rose tinted glasses and take us on a bitter sweet journey which uncompromisingly inflame the brutal reality of life’s trials and tribulations. Almost every note is either played or sung with a deep passion for their art that is heightened by their great musicianship, a rare find in today’s technological world. Tilt Room leaves you wanting more, emerging as an incredible new band ready and willing to explode into our lives; let’s hope it’s soon…”

— Edward Lewis, New Motion Records, UK - New Motion Records, UK


Nostalgic Future (April, 2016)
Confront Your World (2011)
Achilles High Heels (2010)



With the release of their full length album, Nostalgic Future, The Tilt Room brings a new feel to a classic genre. Lush with progressive rhythms, huge pop choruses, and an indie rock attitude, the record boasts the aesthetic of alternative rock anthems. Though the songs are diverse from one another, there is a glue that holds it all together much like a concept album would. Most importantly, the record never loses sight of the emotional platform great songs are built from.

The first single, “The Crutch”, is an instant pop rock classic. Complete with an upbeat swing, and an overall fun feel, and soulful vocals, the song grabs tight and doesn’t let go.

“It's about the rigors of drug addiction, and the internal struggle people go through, trying to come to terms with their problem(s).  A.K.A. Demons. Also, it can be a metaphor for any struggle we deal with in life,” explains songwriter Mike Swindell of the band’s single. “I think in life we all have that "crutch" we lean on from time to time, when life gets crazy. It is very prevalent in Salvador Dali's work. Not that this song has any ties with him,” explains vocalist and guitarist Mike Swindell of the bands single.

Although the single speaks volumes for the album, to get a real understanding of where The Tilt Room is coming from, it should be heard in its entirety. 

“In many ways. I think stylistically this album has helped us find our identity, not only as a band, but musicians. It's not easy coming together as individuals and creating that right sound. But when you do, something special happens as a unit, and Ideas start flowing more. You kind of have a better idea what the other guy is thinking in a given moment, and you are more compelled to go with the flow to see what comes of it. In the end it's about creating continuity,” says Swindell of the bands evolution in songwriting.

Originally formed under the name Bacchus in 2003, the band consisted of Mike Swindell and Matt Dacierno. Although they started off with their punk rock roots, the band eventually developed into a more prog rock sound. The band was consistently honing their craft and developing styles over the years. After hitting a rough patch with drummers, the duo decided perform as an acoustic act and went on to record an album as so. After years of performing without a drummer, the two realized the songs would benefit from percussion. In early 2014, after auditioning a number of drummers, they finally crossed paths with Justin Hackett. The rest as they say, is history. 

Then, in 2015, the band was hit with the death of Matt Dacierno. As difficult as it was the other to knew he’d want the music to live on. So that’s what they did. After recruiting bassist Anthony Pandolph, they found someone who fit the band perfectly as his attention to detail and overall style was perfect for them. Shortly after, the band went on to complete the Nostalgic Future album. An album 3 years in the making. 

The Nostalgic Future album is now available for streaming and download on most major digital outlets, and the band is planning shows in support of the release.

 To learn and hear more of The Tilt Room, please visit:


Band Members