Peanut Butter Cups of the Deep South
As punks with a taste for crossover thrash and Southern metal such as Municipal Waste and Valient Thorr, Safe Word does not fit neatly into any designated category. Instead, this hardass Northern Carolina outfit is more about shredding preconceived notions towards punk and metal, demonstrating not only that the two are compatible, but that they actually belong together. With an uncanny dexterity that cannot be passed off entirely as luck, Safe Word blends righteous punk anthems with gnarly, headbanging riffs so thoroughly that it seems impossible they had ever existed as separate entities. Without question, Safe Word is the peanut butter cup of Southern rock, punk, and crossover thrash.
The need for amplified thunder compelled guitarist Bo Dangle, vocalist Allen High, bassist Jeff Badalucco, and drummer Falam-Salam to step away from Facebook and join forces in 2010 to form Safe Word. Amidst clouds of pot smoke and surrounded by alcoholic beverages of every variety, the friends mashed genres with Hadron Collider-like intensity to write and record the Riff Box EP, which they released in 2013. Safe Word hit the local club circuit soon afterwards, confusing and astounding both punks and headbangers alike with their highly distorted yet undeniably melodic and hook-laden songs, the likes of which North Carolina had never seen before. While the Deep South has never been particularly simpatico to punk rockers, Safe Word incorporates the best parts of Southern culture and leaves the rest. You can take the punk out of South, but you can’t take the South out of the punk.
Guitarist Bo Dangle is optimistic about the future. The band is getting set to release a new EP, and plans for a full-length album are in the works. While the guys would love to quit their day jobs and tour the world, they know the odds against global domination are steep. Still, reality is for those who refuse to dream. “We don’t really give a fuck either way,” says Bo.