Red Pony Clock
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Red Pony Clock

San Diego, California, United States | INDIE

San Diego, California, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Onion AV Club blurb"

Every time indie rock feels like it's about to get sucked into a dark vortex of pretentious cool, a band like Red Pony Clock pops up firing laser guns and spazzing out. The sprawling San Diego ensemble hauls xylophones, horns, accordions, and anything else it can get it's hands on across the country, brightening souls with bursts of orchestral pop that reference everything from the Beach Boys to The Tijuana Brass. God Made Dirt, an aptly unpolished and gloriously messy disc, is it's latest ramshackle masterpiece, but Red Pony Clock has to be seen to be believed and properly ingested. - The Onion

"God Made Dirt review"

Someone was bound to take old Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass records and find the beauty in them. And then bring that ineffable sound into their own music and make it not only cool but use it to enhance what they already do well.

Gabe Saucedo has been writing ambitious and heartbreakingly sincere music for years at this point. On this record, his songs, and those of longtime collaborator, Tony Prudhome, prove that not only can pop music be richly layered but also still has the ability to say interesting things about our lives without peddling in tired, saccharine clichés.

The opening track, “Welcome Back,” is a joyful exploration of deep melancholy and all of its complex range of emotions that flow through you as you contemplate the grey-hued side of your existence but coming to terms with your nature as a human being.

There are a lot of uncomfortably thoughtful questions across this album. The songwriters are clearly concerned with the same issues as anyone else writing about pop music, they just delve a lot deeper and expose psychic insecurities with a refreshing, though perhaps unintentional, bravery. This gives each song a powerful vulnerability in an era when so many musicians are hiding behind masks or putting on a tough front for fear of appearing weak.

Red Pony Clock make their awkwardness, honesty and delicacy a virtue of their art. Many bands try to use non-traditional instruments and come off like poseurs because they make a big deal out of it. This band seems to create music conceptually and no instrument is included for the sake of doing so. It is as though they learned their 1960s-era Beach Boys music well and understood that sad music doesn’t have to be ugly, harsh and depressing. Rather, it can be catchy and serve as a means of transcending life’s low points.

“Take A Side” is typical of the record where social observations and commentary is brilliantly woven into expressions about the nature of the human heart. In this case, the perils of being fickle and unwilling to commit to a course of action and the importance of being true to yourself and others.

With lovely vocal harmonies, sensitively intelligent lyrics and breathtaking orchestral musical arrangements, God Made Dirt is classic Red Pony Clock and one of the best records out of the indie pop movement. - Cairn magazine

"God Made Dirt review"

Hailing from San Diego, the members of Red Pony Clock describe themselves as psychedelic indie-pop, and I guess that’s a fair description, but after numerous listens to their first full-length, God Made Dirt, I’m convinced that their approach is firmly planted in a twee aesthetic. Especially after reading on their MySpace page that they agree that a few members of the band “can’t seem to do anything well”. And since the shambolic-yet-brilliant group is about as far from punk rock as one can get by definition of tempo and tonality, I’m sticking with that decision. Besides, God Made Dirt is being released on Happy Happy Birthday To Me, so… yeah, Red Pony Clock is psychedelic twee to these ears. And since I can’t think of any other group in the world I’d apply that genre tag to, you know that the music on God Made Dirt is gonna be some next level shit, right?

Well, it is. I haven’t only been playing this record a ton so I’d be able to give it a fair shake for reviewing purposes, but alternately because it’s fascinating and dumbfounding all at once. The group is ten members strong, and anyone who has ever been in a musical group before will tell you that it’s next to impossible to keep even two people on the same page for very long… but freakin’ ten people? That’s insane. And of course, I’m assuming that these ten people all agreed unanimously on the thirteen songs that grace God Made Dirt, which is an even more spectacular feat, really. But the press release I received with the album specifically states that the band “never seems to have had it together”. Without knowing anything about Red Pony Clock before popping the CD in the player, I can totally see that. The instruments fall in and out of tune with each other, at times the rhythms ever so slightly behind another instrument, and during a very obvious point in the anthemic “Don’t Forget Who Your Friends Are”, the choir of backing vocalists all come in nearly a beat and a half late - on cue. Now, none of those statements detract from the overall enjoyment factor of God Made Dirt, but instead makes the album feel much more intimate, real and ‘of the moment’. You know… like music fans making music in a room together because it’s fun for them.

And yes, fun is all over this forty-one minute album. There’s a jillion different instruments and sounds being introduced and then subtracted before you even have a chance to process what you’ve just heard. If I had to boil the groups sound down to a sound-byte, it’d go as follows: “God Made Dirtsounds as if a better than average pop group went overdub crazy with some instruments they stole from a high school band room that they weren’t totally proficient on”. But that’d only be a small part of the story. Some of those little xylophone parts are actually pretty intricate, and those held-together-with-scotch-tape vocal harmonies aren’t just the obvious fifths… nope, these tunes are painstakingly nuanced and complex. You could hand the musical score of “The World” to even the most seasoned group of musicians, and they’d scratch their heads in unison before saying “fuck that, let’s just do ‘Johnny B. Goode’ instead or something”.

In other words, this isn’t your average Arcade Fire/Broken Social Scene type of collective where some members are playing all the time for a musical backbone, and then there’s like four other peripheral people that maybe bang a gong twice in the tune to warrant their existence on the stage. Nuh uh. Red Pony Clock seems to be keeping all of the available musicians busy at all times, while never seeming to write a disposable part to the songs that didn’t really have to be there. These guys seem to know what they’re doing, even if it doesn’t always come together on the first few listens. Have patience and it will, I assure you.

Before I wrap this up, I have to take a moment to point out the following: even though it’s easy to lose sight of the lyrical portion of God Made Dirt in the midst of such an endearing musical cacophony, there’s a beautifully direct nature to the words expressed within. Here, just check out this disarmingly straightforward set of lines written by one Gabe Saucedo:

“So we booked a little time and went out of our minds / Trying to record our full length album debut. / The label told me that the record was a bomb / It only sold to my mom and a few people in my old hometown.” - from “Don’t Forget Who Your Friends Are”.

And while Gabe takes the lyrical reins most of the time on God Made Dirt, fellow lyricist Tony Prudhome ain’t no slouch either. Check out this confounding slice of prose:

“In another day or two / When the cuckoos pretty coo starts singing out to you / You gotta stay coo-coo-cool breezy / Do that little dance you know and sing the harmony.” - from “Twelve Color Step”.

So yeah, Red Pony Clock’s has great songs, great lyrics and it stands up to repeated listens. I proclaim it to be one of the most fascinating albums of the year and highly recommend it to anyone that wants to have their mind blown. And even if the rickety, sometimes shambolic sound of Red Pony Clock puts you off at first, just remember the following: the best rock and roll albums of all time all sound as if they’re gonna fall apart at any second. And by those standards, God Made Dirt is up there with fucking Exile On Main Street, my friends. -


Whatevz Forevzzz (2011 HHBTM records)
God Made Dirt (2007 HHBTM records)



From the sun-kissed shores of San Diego, CA comes Red Pony Clock, an ever-shifting musical collective with a penchant for jubilant horn arrangements, effervescent vocal harmonies, and confessional song-writing. Primarily a recording project based on the songs of Gabe Saucedo & Tony Prudhome; the live Red Pony Clock lineup can oftentimes swell into the the double digits, with members switching back and forth between a wide variety of non-traditional instruments, such as trombone, banjo, accordion, & vibraphone. RPC will pretty much try to work with whatever they can get their hands on. The same goes for their song-writing, which has been known to take from such diverse influences as mariachi, disco, country, jazz, & R&B.
At first listen, the density of Red Pony Clock's music can be overwhelming, even confounding. But take heart!! While most twelve-headed monsters are intent on luring you under your bed only to inflict unspeakable acts of torture, Red Pony Clock would rather help you build a pillow fort in which to chill out and have a sing-along. Or better yet, a jamboree!!!

Over the course of 6 years, Red Pony Clock has gone from being a one-man lo-fi recording project to the incalculable, cult-like assemblage of today, sporadically releasing their music on 7" records, cassettes, and hand-decorated CDRs. Their latest release, God Made Dirt (HHBTM records), marks RPC's first foray into professional studio recording. With the help of their old friend, Roy Silverstein at Habitat Studios, Red Pony Clock has finally made the record they've been trying to make since they started. It's a boundlessly sprawling work, made to be absorbed as a whole, and brimming with the spirit of a band who makes music only because they love it more than anything else in the world.

Here's a list of bands we've played with: Architecture in Helsinki, Of Montreal, Apples in Stereo, Elf Power, Mt Erie, Daniel Johnston, Persephones Bees, The Brunettes, Dr Dog, Dirty Projectors, Half-Handed Cloud, Essex Green, Castanets, Irving, Yacht, His Name is Alive, Deerhoof, The Blow, The Instruments, Thanksgiving, Octopus Project, Ladybug Transistor, blah blah blah ... etc etc etc ... you get it.