Grow Your Own records, are still a small label, but one who have quietly become known for their beautifully packaged and presented releases. Beautiful is probably not a description that you’d expect from a kitchen table anarcho punk label … but they are. Grow Your Own was started in 2007 by Anthrax singer Gary and guitarist Steph (also of Hagar The Womb) initially to put out Anthrax and related recordings. But since 2015 the label has seen over 20 specially curated releases from bands including The System, Hagar the Womb, Exit-Stance and Omega Tribe. Their core output mainly consists of the very active network of anarcho-punk bands, made up from both Anthrax contemporaries and newer acts like Kiss Me Killer.
The label is evidently a labour of love and has also become something of an art project. Art it may be but the heavyweight vinyl has a crisp, deep sound and it’s obvious that the technical side also has a big role to play in the label’s mindset.
Each release is lovingly curated and the current catalogue includes coloured vinyl, 10 inch releases, and hand-stuck covers, alongside badges, stickers and lyric books for each edition. The covers are bright as are the coloured vinyl that sit within them.
Our latest package from Grow Your Own contained two 10 inch mini albums and a CD, by Emily Flea, Kiss Me Killer and Dogshite, respectively.
First on the turntable is Emily Flea’s mini album No Room For You. Beyond the cartoon cover, and the raspberry ripple vinyl (which looks good enough to have for pudding), the opening track Park Bench Creep details Emily’s feelings towards a beer drinking man staring at her while she’s exercising – we all agree, he’s a creep!
The LP is an energetic thrash that tackles big themes like Capitalism, animal rights, queer rights and platforms Emily’s lyrics, which you can follow on the handwritten fanzine style lyric book that comes with the album. The lyric book is a real bonus as most of the songs rattle on at bpms that lie somewhere north of 160.
Moving on, the Kiss Me Killer bright green 10 inch 2020 Vision plays at 45rpm with 4 tracks per side. The band are from Bristol where there has always been a vibrant punk scene and where KMK are a frequent name on live bills. Former death metal drummer AJ’s rock solid beats hold their garage punk together and like all good punk tunes, their songs are not without hooks and riffs – and we think we can hear some studs and tattoos in there as well. Songs like Gentrification and Sports Direct apply a punk attitude to 21st century problems.
And then onto Dogshite. Having never heard of this particular anarcho punk affiliated and fearsomely named band we just had to dive straight in. Terrifying name or not, this just might be the poppiest Grow Your Own release of them all. No surprise when you learn that the band includes Hagar/WAGTEY drummer Chris and vocalist Carmel Reynolds. Dogshite deliver 19 songs with no messing about. Some don’t even reach the two minute mark before moving onto the next, but sometimes that’s all you need. Their songs might be short but all of them are packed with a tuneful ferocity that melds garage surf and punk into something very modern, something almost … pop!
You can check out the full GYO catalogue via their bandcamp page below and follow them on Instagram @grow_your_own_records
Grow Your Own records / Anthrax – https://anthraxuk.bandcamp.com/