Donkey Island Penitentiary – ‘Exile On 4th Street’.

Donkey Island Penitentiary – Los Angeles, California, USA.


Escaped convicts of Donkey Island Penitentiary are creeping through the underground of the LA Punk scene. Armed with guitars and harmonicas, the Country-Blues-Punk criminals have recently released their debut EP Exile On 4th Street and if their name didn’t grip you enough, the tunes definitely will.

Their Punk and Blues cross-over with it’s Latin roots, tells tales of vigilante justice, deals with the devil and time travel and is nothing short of fantastic and If I’m honest, I’m a little bit in love with it.

\\Exile On 4th Street//


‘Heaven and Hell’ opens the EP with it’s defiant attitude. The harmonica and guitars are driven along in raucous Rock n’ Roll and with a slight Social Distortion vibe, this track is a winner. So far, so good.

‘Man In The Shadows’ is next. The slowest track on the release, it has a more sombre sound and a slow guitar riff to start. The track echoes with eerie but harmonic vocals that are far bluesier than the previous.

The grunge-like chorus is catchy with a faint harmonica buzzing away in the background. It’s definitely my favourite track so far, with the emotion in the vocals and the whine of the harmonica working perfectly in unison.

‘Look Into My Eyes (Prelude)’ is an instrumental break-down perfectly placed in the middle of the running order. The harmonica sounds like a train horn and the melody around it sounds like a Sci-Fi mess. It feels almost as if a UFO will fly down in the middle-of-nowhere of California and abduct you there and then.

Leading then into track four, ‘Look into My Eyes’, employs thumping but gentle guitar work and pounding percussion, all prominently placed to gain your undivided attention.

The almost creepy sound effects of the track are reminiscent of Rob Zombie, whereas the vocals and the melody are similar to Motorhead, with the darkness and gloom again showing Social Distortion influence.

It’s almost a hypnotic and a banger to say the least.

‘Going Down’ heads down the Blues-Rock root once more. This soundtrack of an Hispanic outlaw is almost like the score of a classic western, with the Harmonica and Country-Blues tune and simple repetition in the lyrics make it instantly memorable, with the chorus especially displaying the quality of the vocal work.

‘Going Down’ is a standout track, ending an EP that is quite frankly, very – very good. So much in-fact that I think I’ve found my new favourite band and can’t wait for more!

Find the sounds of the escapees below:

  • For updates, head to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their Official Website.
  • For streaming, the band’s music can be found on Spotify, SoundCloud and Deezer.
  • Head to iTunes and Amazon for digital downloads and catch the band live for a hard-copy CD.


Bethany Jinks

Bethany. A Twenty-something Punk-Rock war-lady from Cornwall.

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