According to Slash, he of the big top hat, even bigger hair and ever-present cigarette, the mighty Van Halen is close to wrapping up work on their first studio album in 27 years with vocalist David Lee Roth.

Speaking with Tom Russell of U.K.'s Rock Radio, Slash said "They're finishing [up their new album right now], actually. I don't wanna speak on their behalf, but one of the guys that works for us works for Van Halen in the studio and he told me that they're in the mixing stages."

Eddie Van Halen was spotted recently hanging out with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, which indicates that it hasn't been all work and no play for the red and white striped guitar god. But hearing from Slash that the album is nearly finished makes a lot of sense, with the announced news that Van Halen and DLR will be playing shows in Australia in September.

After many rumored previous false starts in the past few years, the band began recording in January with producer John Shanks (Bon Jovi, Jane's Addiction, Fleetwood Mac) and as of March had reportedly begun to mix some of the tracks. Allegedly aiming for a fall release, the new album would be the first released recordings with Roth at the mic since the initial ill-fated reunion in 1996 that produced two new tracks for a greatest hits album.

Watch Van Halen perform 'Mean Street'

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