STRANGE, DARK MEAT
KINGS--STRANGE is deep into making their follow-up to last year's Things in Night, and things couldn't sound better. Drummer Brian Donohoe is now behind the kit for the band, pushing them into different realms and allowing their sound to actualize into something new. Inveterate Raleigh producer Greg Elkins has been pouring himself, his time and his money into his Desolation Row studio, experimenting with equipment and hand-built electronics. His new work with STRANGE is epitomized by the new, unreleased "Fatima," a five-minute masterpiece (no fooling) with the band pouring through complex rhythmic and tonal shifts, Joel Rhodes (Get Up With It-era Davis blowing military marches) pushing straight on through Linc Hancock's speaker-expanding bass throbs. Their buddies Dark Meat are up from Athens, a gloriously messy, bombastic psychedelic trip, like methamphetamined Modern Lovers covering some Amboy Dukes. They also share a bill at Chapel Hill's Reservoir on March 16. --Grayson Currin
SPRING METAL FESTIVAL
LINCOLN THEATRE--Five years of horror, heady guitar riffage and hair come together at this annual metal party, with dips in several varied pools of poison from area bands: boot-stomping rock from Leadfoot, Knowledge is for Fools metal covers, and original bilious numbers from bands like New Bern's Widow. This fifth anniversary headbangs all day long, beginning at 4 p.m. and costing $10.