|Origin||San Francisco, California, US|
|Labels||Cleopatra, Zoth Ommog|
|Past members||Jason Hubbard
Penal Colony were formed in the summer of 1992 by Dee Madden, Jason Hubbard, Andy Shaw and Chris Shinkus. Guitarist Andy Shaw, Bassist Chris Shinkus, and Drummer Jason Hubbard had been members of the goth/glam rock outfit The Texas Vamps. Vocalist Dee Madden had been involved in the gothic rock band Ex-VoTo but parted ways with them after the rest of the band relocated to New Orleans. The band made their live performance debut on October 31, 1992.
In 1993, the band were discovered by Cleopatra Records during a show at The Roxy in Hollywood and were signed to the label. They issued their full-length debut, titled Put Your Hands Down, in 1994. A remix album followed in 1995 and was titled 5 Man Job. The album comprises remixed versions of previously released work, with collaborations by Frontline Assembly's Bill Leeb, Genesis P Orridge, Leather Strip, Spahn Ranch's Matt Green, and T.H.D. Aiding & Abetting described the album as having "a nice schizophrenic appeal" and as "a fine second by folks who refuse to take the easy road." Hubbard, Shaw and Shinkus all departed from Penal Colony immediately after the album's release and before its supporting national tour, effectively making the band Madden's solo project.
The remix compilations Multicoloured Shades and Shadows in Blue were released in 1995 by Zoth Ommog Records. Activity halted in 1998 when Madden moved to Northwest to re-form his old band Simstim. Nine years after their debut, Penal Colony's follow-up studio album Unfinished Business was released on May 23, 2003 by DSBP Records.
- Madden, Dee (January 2003). "Penal Colony Bio (5 Man Job)". thepenalcolony.com. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- "Penal Colony: Put Your Hands Down > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- "Penal Colony: 5 Man Job > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- Green, Jo-Ann (February 1995). "Penal Colony Interview". Mean Street. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- "Penal Colony: 5 Man Job". Aiding & Abetting (71). February 28, 1995. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- Bush, John. "Penal Colony: Multicoloured Shades > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- "Penal Colony: Shadows in Blue > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- "Penal Colony: Unfinished Business > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved October 24, 2016.