Neil Merryweather
Space Rangers

Label: Regain Records
Three similar bands: Hawkwind/
Steve Miller Band/Sweet
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Hollywood Boulevard
2. Step In The Right Direction
3. Eight Miles High
4. King Of Mars
5. Neon Man
6. Sunshine Superman
7. Road to Hades
8. High Latitude Hide 'N' Seek
9. Escape
10. Sole Survivor

Neil Merryweather - vocals, bass
Tim McGovern - drums
Timo Laine - guitars
Michael "Jeep" Willis - guitars
Robert Silvert - synthesizers

Merryweather (with Merryweather, 1969)
Word of Mouth (with Merryweather, 1969)
Neil Merryweather John Richardson and Boers (1970)
Ivar Avenue Reunion (with Barry Goldberg, Charlie Musselwhite, and Lynn Carey, 1970)
Vacuum Cleaner (with Lynn Carey, 1971)
Preserve Wildlife (with Mama Lion, 1972)
Heavy Cruiser (with Heavy Cruiser, 1972)
Lucky Dog (with Heavy Cruiser, 1972)
Give It Everything I've Got (with Mama Lion, 1973)
Space Rangers (1974)
Kryptonite (1975)
Differences (1978)
Radical Genes (with Eyes, 1980)
Hundred Watt Head (with Hundred Watt Head, 2009)
The La La Land Blues Band (with The La La Land Blues Band(2009)
Carved In Rock (with Merryweather Stark, 2018)


Produced by Neil Merryweather
Engineers: Chuck Johnson, Hugh Davis, Roger Dollarhide
Mixed by Rick Heenan
Artwork by John Wolf
Re-mastered by Janne Stark

Released 2021-04-15
Reviewed 2021-07-18

regain records

läs på svenska

Enigmatic Canadian bassist and vocalist Neil Merryweather passed away earlier this year, so perhaps it can be said to be good timing that Regain Records had decided to reissue his albums Space Rangers and Kryptonite. A good tribute to a guy who started his career back in the 1960s and released the two albums that are reissued in the mid 1970s. The man himself seem to have had a career where he played with some great musicians but never quite achieved the same status even though he made a few bands in his own name or in different bands, it seems he never caught the right breaks despite doing good stuff and good work.

This album was recorded in LA so perhaps it would be fitting to begin with Hollywood Boulevard, a song that is a hit song in construction, very accessible. But the album is varied and contains psychedelic parts, some fuzz and prog rock, I think of Hawkwind when I listen through the album, but you can hear the influences from many different sources. It is quite varied; I would say to the extent that it becomes slightly fragmented or incoherent. In a way it is like songs put onto an album rather than a carefully constructed album. The sound is very much seventies rock, the remastering for the rereleases makes it seem pretty fresh while still retaining that seventies spirit, I think it sounds good.

Space Rangers is a good album overall, but not a fantastic album as there are too many ups and downs. The best parts of this album like King of Mars are amazing, Hollywood Boulevard that opens the album is also worthy of mentioning as a highlight. But there are some tracks that are definite fillers and that lowers the overall impression to a rating somewhere in the middle. It could still be an album worthy of getting a vinyl copy, for the fantastic songs it has when it is at its best as well as for the cool and very seventies contemporary cover that would look great in the collection.

Considering that the album seems to have been out of print for long, it is certainly a release worthwhile making. One should always be cautious of reissuing albums, but sometimes it feels merited and to celebrate the life and deed of a great and perhaps underrated musician it certainly is. I think this one should be worth considering, it may not be as fantastic as its best moment but surely it is an album that is quite enjoyable.