Chocolate Robots
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Chocolate Robots

Sarnia, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Sarnia, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Pop





Chocolate Robots are a nice piece of work. Their emailed bio says they all work in their parents pizza shop. Not sure if that means they all have parents with pizza shops or if they are siblings with one set of parents with a pizza shop. They also called their album PIZZA FACE, I am sensing a theme here.


"Chocolate Robots ~ Pizza Face"

I will admit, I’m a sucker for cover art when it comes to sifting through artist submissions for Magic Teepee… That being said, check above for the artwork that goes with Chocolate Robots recent release Pizza Face… pretty cool right? What also grabbed my attention was the fact that this familiar raw-on-the-edges psycho-lax pop comes from three brothers who all work in their father’s pizza shop (yum!) in Ontario, Canada. The story gets better… Their dad was a 70's Italian lounge-singer and they recorded Pizza Face with his old leftover tube and tape equipment. Pizza Face is a way solid and complete listen from the front to the back… So listen very carefully to the Teepee’s message: listen to favs below, watch the rad ‘Impossible Princess’ video here, and then support Chocolate Robots by buying Pizza Face right heeer. - Magic Teepee

"Chocolate Robots PIZZA FACE"

There's a fine line between sounding raw and sounding amateurish, and Chocolate Robots are straight up straddling that sucker. With an off-kilter sense of time, sloppy riffs, and names that inspire Pitchfork death snipers to start camping on rooftops across the street from wherever they live, Chocolate Robots feel refreshingly rebellious. Their album Pizza Face is probably the most fun thirty minutes of music nobody will hear this year. They mailed it to us in a pizza box, presumably from the pizza place they work at in rural Canada. Turns out "rural Canadian pizza" might be the best hyperbole to describe how weird and wonderful they are.

The records have a crunchy, old feel to it, probably because the band recorded it on "old tube and tape equipment" leftover from their dad's career as an Italian singer/songwriter in the 70s. The lackadaisical vocals and thin, wiry riffs sound like The Strokes in high school. This probably helped get the attention of Fab Moretti, so he went bowling with the guys and passed their music on to a few notable producers, like Thom Monahan (Devandra Banhart, Vetiver), who helped take the LP from "sounding like Michael Bolton" to the spectacularly pseudo-finished product. They even got Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, Unicorns) to mix a few tracks. The result is an unabashedly fun, flighty romp through twee-infused garage rock, like Is This It? by the Black Lips in the 10th grade on acid.

The band has one other release out there, 2007's Purr Quality. It reads as a sort of odd prologue, much more akin to juvenile imitations of their inspirations with names like "Hot Sauce," "Popcorn," "Pirates," and "Chicken Shit" not offering much besides superficial lyricism and a taste for vocal effects. But stick with it, and the songs become stealthy, infectious, sing-along toe-tap bait against all odds, igniting just the right corners of the cortex, and the stupidity of it all kind of transcends itself into something worth your time. Stay with me.

Pizza Face borrows on this formula with some new ingredients, and yields infinite returns. The songs shift from unfocused musings on food items to unrequited love with impossible woman, and the odd descriptions of love and relationships ("Impossible Princess," "Young Luff") add some personality to the oldest (and sometimes the most trite) subject matter. The songs feel a little tighter, a little more thought out, and much more saturated in memorable hooks and progressions, all while retaining the weird nuances that make this band more fun and unpredictable than the average indie schtick.

In today's world of Odd Future rapegaze and Lana Del Rey internet hijinks, it seems like uniqueness and authenticity are mutually exclusive. It tends to leave the most interesting new material to remain anonymous in the over-saturated sea of new music. Why bother? Chocolate Robots take a honey badger approach to this fatalism (they just don't give a sh*t), or perhaps it's just the idealism of youth that seems to make their tunes impervious to think pieces. Either way, it's too fun to stay unknown for long.
- Baeble Music

"Chocolate Robots – “Young Luff (Love)”"

I thought to myself, “that record sounds like a lot of fun.” So I watched the “Young Luff (Love)” video that you see above. I thought to myself “I really like this.” I thought more and came up with this: “I’m totally impressed with this band.” Then I started thinking about Generationals or Holiday at Sea and those type of happy bands. I didn’t know those type of bands came out of Canada. But I didn’t know about Chocolate Robots. - deckfight

"Chocolate Robots “Pizza Face”"

PIZZA FACE was recorded in Sarnia, Ontario using a bunch of old tube and tape equipment their dad had left over from being an Italian singer songwriter in the 70s. Stylistically, Pizza Face weaves in and out of genres sounding heavily Strokes influenced as well as smidges of Of Montreal-esque electro-analogue quirkiness. I recommend picking it up. - seizurechicken

"Local band Chocolate Robots launch CD"

Sarnia's Chocolate Robots had some award-winning help on their new album.

"Pizza Face" was recorded in Sarnia by Mike Giresi and his brothers Matt and Marcus, and then mixed in California by Thom Monahan and in Montreal by Mark Lawson, who also worked on Arcade Fire's Grammy-winning album.

"It was funny," Giresi said. "He had just finished mixing our record and then to see him on the big award show."

Getting someone with that kind of pedigree to mix the songs the brothers wrote and recorded in their hometown, wasn't in the plan when they started out working on the album, Giresi said.

"It was just strange coincidences that happened that led us down this path."

Giresi said he and his brothers spent two years working on the album, which "turned out better than any of us could have ever imagined."

He described it as accessible, indie-pop.

"You could play it for younger kids, you could play it for kids in college and there would be a common thread."

As for the album title, Giresi said "the awkwardness of being young" is a theme that runs through the songs.

And, the poster for the album's Aug. 13 all-ages release party at The Stubborn Mule bills Chocolate Robots as the official band of Giresi's Pizza Factory, the family pizza shop the brothers have worked at nearly all their lives.

"On different levels, it was kind of working for us," Giresi said.

"And, it sounded pretty cool too."

Doors at the release party open at 9 p.m. and Chocolate Robots will be joined on stage by Sarnia's A Huron Union and London's Greggy Clypse. Admission is $10.

Giresi said the self-described "music nerds" pressed some vinyl versions of the album to sell, along with CDs.

And, they're planning to take their show on the road.

"This time around we've got a little tour lined up," Giresi said.

"We're going to spread our wings a little bit to try and kind of get out there for some kicks." - The Observer

"Chocolate Robots at the Spill Oct 21"

You know that friend you have, the brow crinkler? The head shaker? The “my knowledge of obscure and irrelevant music is far superior to your forgettable B.A.” eye roller? That’s me. I am that raised-nose, low-life scumbag.

And so, it is bizarre to the maximum that I would even THINK about opening an unwanted email from an unknown musical group, sure to be full of cultural clichés and superfluous name dropping.However, the fact remains that I did open that email.And I’m going to tell you why.

Mike, Mutt, and Marco Giresi are the heirs to Giresi’s Pizza in Sarnia, Ontario.Their band, Chocolate Robots, plays weird and sentimental songs, managing to evoke both The Strokes and the Unicorns.So, let’s just set the record straight: pizza family starts rock band to write love songs.Is this real life?Are these guys going to team up with Brian Henson to start filming Ninja Turtles 4?

In an age of a million virtual bands, the ones that stand out are the ones with the legendary beginnings.In North America, you can’t get much more legendary then a pizza shop. So, I checked out their website.My first reaction was negative (MySpace?) but I was immediately perked up by a short video of a disembodied Darth Vader head coming out of a pizza box and shooting laser beam eyes all around a room.I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for laser beam eyes.They got me.

There’s a show coming up at The Spill, and I will be there.But what about you?Are you intrigued enough to make the trip? I thought I’d give the band a chance for an introduction and maybe get some of your bodies out to party.

Arthur: Tell us your strangest story from the family pizza shop.

Giresi Bros.: All kinds of strange things have happened over the years there,delivering pizzas to celebrities like Bryan Adams and Conrad Bain (Mr. Drummond) from TVs Different Strokes.

I would have to say the strangest would be for years one of the delivery boys was leading a double life.Known to Sarnia teens as Undieman, this guy would hide in the park in some polka dotted underwear and a balaclava [and] when he would spot some kids he would run out of the bushes.In time, mass groups of kids would head into the park after dark to hunt for Undieman like he was some kind of boogey man.This went on for years till the police banned him from the park.He had many fan pages on Facebook, and many kids were sad to see him go.We are in the very early stages of writing a concept album about him.

Arthur: Several studies indicate that male births are rare in Sarnia because of toxic chemicals. How do you explain the three of you?

Giresi Bros.: I wish I could.I guess we are some of the lucky few.Maybe unlucky depending on who you ask.Though I think it would have been cooler if we were three sisters.

Arthur: If your lives were an 80’s movie, what would the name of your cool guy gang be? Would you wear matching vests? Explain.

Giresi Bros.: We’ d call ourselves “Gangrene”, and definitely would wear matching vests, because matching vests are cool.Our band is colour coordinated, because we like the idea of looking like a gang. You don’t see the Outlaws in matching windbreakers.It’s simple, they wear denim and leather.We’re kind of like them, we have a loose dress code, we wear all white and occasionally we will wear our matching Thriller jackets.

Arthur: One of your songs contains the theme of rollerblading in lightning storms for love. What other strange and dangerous situations has love forced you into?

Giresi Bros.: Everything we do (as a band) is for the love and acceptance of complete strangers.This past Canada Day we filled a U-haul truck up with a generator, our gear, some lasers and a ton of smoke machines and just pulled up to random parties unleashing a copious amount of smoke and loud music all hours of the night. Everyone was having fun till we woke up someone’s sleeping baby. He unpleasantly asked us to get out of the streets, [and] as he was walking awayhe made a motion with his finger from one side of his neck to the other indicating what seemed to me that he was going to cut our throats.He was right, it was 2 am and the street was filled of people going mental. We wrapped things up rather quickly at that point.

Arthur: Why should we care about your band?

Giresi Bros.: Simply because we care about you.We could be [a] big happy family!

- The Arthur


Purr Quality (cd) 2008

Pizza Face (cd/LP) 2011



The three Giresi brothers Mike, Mutt, and Marco who together make up the Chocolate Robots also work in their fathers pizzeria fittingly named Giresi’s Pizza, in the prescription drug dependent border town of Sarnia Ontario.

Their self released album Pizza Face was recorded in the brothers basement studio using much of their fathers old recording equipment left over from his days as an Italian singer-songwriter in the 70’s. The dusty tube and tape equipment married with their uncles computer the Robots were able to receive a helping hand from some well known music producers. Once all of the raw tracks were completed the Chocolate Robots would send them via the interweb to Thom Monahan (Devandra Banhart, Silver Jews) in California and Grammy award winner Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, The Unicorns) in Montreal to give them their final mixes the straight goods.