Former ALICE IN CHAINS bassist Mike Starr‘s roommate has told TMZ.com that Mike was “mixing” methadone and anxiety medication hours before he died. According to the roommate, Mike had been using methadone recently in an effort to get sober — but he had also been taking medication to battle anxiety issues he had been suffering from since his arrest last month.

Starr‘s roommate added, “Mike was a beautiful person who was fighting to stay sober … I am going to miss him greatly.”

Starr was found dead in a house in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday afternoon (March 8), according to TMZ.com. Starr, who was a founding member of the group and played on its first two albums, was 44 years old. Police who were called to the scene said that foul play was not suspected, but that drugs were found near the body. Starr‘s father told TMZ.com, “It’s a terrible shock and tragedy.”

 BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION — the Anglo/American rock supergroup featuring vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, TRAPEZE), drummer Jason Bonham (BONHAM, LED ZEPPELIN), Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER) and blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa — has scheduled the following U.S. dates:

June 09 – Civic Theatre – San Diego, CA
June 10 – The Grove – Anaheim, CA
June 11 – The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT
June 13 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO
June 15 – Murat Theatre – Indianapolis, IN
June 17 – Casino Ballroom – Hampton Beach, NH
June 19 – 9:30 Club – Washington, D.C.

Heavy Metal Blogs: King Lizard Viva La Decadence CoverDo you remember the first time you saw Axl Rose drinking Jack and swearing up a storm on National television?  Do you remember the first time you read about Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee sharing women in their apartment on the Sunset Strip?  Do you remember seeing Chris Holmes drunk in a pool cursing at this mother?  There are a million things we can think back on about the debauchery of bands that “lived” the rock n’ roll lifestyle.

Events like the above might not be very cool as we get older, but you have to admit there will always be a piece of you that wishes you were living like that.  Not only do some of us miss the stories that came out of those eras, but we miss the attitude and the music.

Well last week I found King Lizard.  I don’t know what their personal antics are like, but their music certainly contains all the elements and the attitude needed to compete with the lore of those past bands.  Looking at the album cover off to your left, you can now add the memory of the first time you saw King Lizard’s “Viva La Decadence.”

Some people call it sleaze metal/glam metal/hair metal, but really when something is this good just sit back and enjoy it.  The boys are young, brash, talented, and don’t appear to give a rat’s ass about staying within the parameters set forward for any “type” of music.  Even their names reek of the way things should be: Flash Roxx (vocals), Niro Knox (guitar), Alice Rain (bass), and Sky London (drums).

Review and video after the warp:

Heavy Metal Blogs: King Lizard CDThe album itself starts with the title track “Viva La Decadence.”  Some chanting to get you started, hard pounding riffs, and a scream from singer Flash Roxx that would make Vince Neil ask how Roxx makes that sound.  This track is filled with attitude and gets the party started.  “Rain On You” continues the party with some amazing vocal work by Foxx and a catchy rhythm that leads into a very sing-along oriented chorus.

“Rock and Roll Me” starts with some great bass work by Alice Rain and continues with light drum work, with Roxx keeping the song moving.  The bass dominates this song in a way that I haven’t heard in a long time.  This is one of my favorite tracks on the album.  Also using some great bass work is “Hell Yeah.”  It uses very classic hard rock riff that leaves you banging your head in time.

Niro Knox shows off some great ability on guitar in “Video Lover.”  This song could be a Motley track right down to the superficial lyrics, but the band does a great job of keeping it modern.  Around the 1:20 mark they pick up the pace into an awesome guitar solo.  “Kan’t Kill Rock & Roll” had me hooked on the first drum beat.  King Lizard shows they are very talented musicians in this song with some very cool blending and having the bass come in and out of the rhythm.

“Never Be Mine” is a slower paced song with Niro once again showing he will be a superstar in the axe world very soon.  The song picks up into some challenging vocal melodies.  A much slower paced track is “Not For Me.”  This would be the ballad track that the band pretty much has to have.  I can picture it very easily on stage and even wanted to take my lighter out. (yes lighter, cell phone back lights are stupid)

“Riot” doesn’t start with the explosion you would expect from the song title.  In fact it begins with some piano work to some light bass work.  After the first verse the song does pick up a bit and allows Roxx to hit some mega screams that left me gasping for air.  “Taste The Hate” brings the party back with some great drum work from Sky London and Roxx once again showing off the monster vocals at a very quick pace.

“Outrageous” has a build start that breaks fast with some hard driving lyrics.  The chorus will have you singing along after the first line.  The album is concluded with “Late Night Dynamite” which shows the band at its strongest.  Great lyrics, stellar rhythm, and an all-out buffet of sound.

“Viva La Decadence” is a must own for fans of Sleaze.  There is no filler on this album.  King Lizard worked long and hard to make this debut special, and they have certainly done that.

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