Album Review: Name Sayers – Joyboys in the Grindhouse

Name Sayers are an experimental band who have just hit my radar thanks to their deliciously-titled new album Joyboys in the Grindhouse. Produced by Grammy-nominated Grant Eppley is an album that brings together psych rock, hip-hop and synth pop. With a love of all things innovative, I just had to give it a listen.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo: Album artwork by Dylan O’Connor

Name Sayers are Devin James Fry on vocals and various instrumentals, Grant Himmler on bass, Garrett Hellman on guitar, and Marc Henry on drums. The band formed in 2018 in Austin, USA and have become known for putting on destination shows in the most unlikely of places.

Joyboys in the Grindhouse is self-referential but also outward-looking with a message of political resistance. It starts with We Multiply, a bold and dramatic introduction. Devin’s vocals are smooth against a jagged but soaring synth pop instrumental arrangement. It’s over in two minutes but has an epic feel that belies its short runtime.

Receiving Evil brings with it some groovy bass and poetic lyrics. Lioness has whispered vocals and a minimal electronic arrangement that builds to something a little industrial. Reaper is vibrant pop tempered by melancholic storytelling. Standing Wave is dreamy and Avant Garde. It’s a highlight.

Gravedancer features Chris Conde and sits as an intense rap-rock focal point at the heart of the album. Gravedancing Again follows with an infectious groove before Chris Conde is then back in Three Will Grow Back, an ensemble piece that includes E-Turn and Wayne Kramer. It’s beautifully macabre, textured by quick-fire and soulfully defiant vocals. It’s another highlight.

Other Lives is a melancholic, jangly rock masterpiece while 2 Go Missing is powerfully percussive. It’s understated first verse gives way to an expansive and lonesome climax of a chorus. The Oblivion Seed closes the album with a wonderful mix of rock and electronica. It perfectly captures the soul of the album and is the perfect end.

With this new album Name Sayers have pushed the envelope and it’s proven a success. Its exciting mix of genres keeps things interesting while its lyrical themes have a powerful and compelling cohesion. It’s about time the world took note of what Name Sayers are doing, and I’m happy to be spreading the word.

Joyboys in The Grindhouse is available on CD, digitally online, and in 180-gram audiophile LP format. You can check it out below.