Music Monday: The Sounds of Weirdness, Pt. 5

Original graphic by The Tattooed Book Geek

I missed last week because of heatstroke and my Dad’s birthday, moving on. Chances are good that you’re heard about New Jersey’s most infamous spooky road even if you haven’t read a single page of Weird NJ as Clinton Road always makes “Haunted Road” and “Top Scary Places” lists. For today’s song we’re going to ignore that place entirely and focus on another road with its own reputation and a much creepier name. I’m talking about Shades of Death Road, a road that runs along a lake that’s alleged to be haunted. A road where the dead supposedly walk within the fog. A road where the locals have to grease the pole because people keep trying to steal the street sign.

Nobody seems to know or remember how this road got its dark name which means that there are a lot of good stories that claim to shine a light into the shade. That’s the only joke, I promise. Needless to say, everyone has a story and I won’t make this one giant block quote so here’s one tale:

According to one legend, murder is at the root of the Shades of Death name. One tale relating to murder says that the original inhabitants of the area surrounding Shades of Death were an unruly band of squatters. Often, men from this vile gang would get into fights over women, and the squabbles would result in the death of one of the participants. As the reputation of these murderous bandits grew, the area they inhabited was named “Shades of Death.” When the civilized world encroached on and disbanded the bandits, the last remnant of their control over the meadows was restricted to one road that retained the name they made famous.

Sounds like a good setup for a horror movie about tourists or teens getting carved up by ghosts or undead revenants. Recorded by local punk band The Accelerators out of Union, NJ, “Shades of Death Road” brings out the adrenaline-fueled feeling of speeding down a dark road at night away from some whatsit that just made your whole crew piss themselves. The track also includes the first of several entries taken from the Tube Bar Tapes, a collection of prank calls made in the 1970’s that would, among other things, inspire Bart Simpson’s calls to Moe’s Tavern.


The vocals are simply too fast at times for my to transcribe and I didn’t want lyrics filled with [unintelligible], sorry. :-I

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