Review of ‘We Sold Our Souls’ by Grady Hendrix (2018)

This book kicks a substantial amount of ass. It is funny, it is gory, it is intensely creepy, and hella inspiring. I should have figured out how to do umlauts before I started writing this, but anyway, We Sold Our Souls opens with the forming of the band Durt Wurk; a ragtag, bar-venue metal band from the 90s. The lead singer, King Koffin (AKA The Blind King), sells out so hard that he sells his band’s souls to the devil for fame. They fade away into middle America drudgery as Koffin rises to superfame.


“Yeah fine my bad.”

Years later when faced with what looks like the new life-low, Kris, Durt Wurk’s guitarist and lyricist, decides to take back what is rightfully hers! Her soul? Naw, the music that Koffin stole from her to get famous!

But that Blind King is a sly asshole, he sees it coming, and he’s setup defenses. Mind control tactics, minions, UPS, even the got-damned law! KK’s using them all just to keep any of his old bandmates from getting anywhere near him. So with literally the world against her, Kris goes to find Koffin to stop his “final” tour and reclaim what’s hers.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: a mighty fine podcast

Reading Souls is a lot like listening to a legendary metal album- blood and sweat and BLOOD. Kris’ harrowing journey is intense and real-world scary as well as demon-world creepy with plenty of crazy character encounters. Much like a good metal album, there’s plenty of interplay between reality’s goblins and Hedes’ playground.

Souls works like that on parallel levels: As I felt myself riding shotgun with Kris against the powers of a mind-controlled nation, climbing upward through the mud, it felt very real and dire to me. We have to fight for the hungry parts of ourselves, our Troglodytes, to see any light. But the fight is always worth it, because that little freak will point you to your bliss. And if we’re not following our bliss then what the fuck are we doing? (I read Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth after We Sold Our Souls– it really hammered these points home!)

My only real gripe has to do with the pages themselves. The edges are stark black, and yes, it does feel very awesome and it looks like you’re reading the inside of some rad, culty VHS case, that shit does kinda come off on your hands.

or is it the spirit of metal possessing me??? (it’s paint)

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