Forgotten series: Complex – The Way We Feel (1971)

During their stint, Complex released two excellent albums pitched somewhere between psychedelic power pop and progressive rock. My favorite of the pair happens to be the British band’s second effort, The Way We Feel, which initially surfaced in 1971 on the Deroy Sound Studio imprint.

From the super sunny sensations of “Every Time I Hear That Song” to the hard and heavy jamming of the jazz influenced “We Don’t Exist,” the disc conveys an abundance of excitement and adventure.

Toe-tapping rhythms and nagging hooks are wired tight throughout cuts such as “The Way I Feel” and the paisley pinched “Lemon Pie Fair,” while “Moving Moor” is a brooding instrumental formed of classical music passages reflecting those of Procol Harum and the Moody Blues.

Beaming vocals, assisted by sweeping harmonies, expansive organ drills and stabbing guitar riffs are staples of Complex’s intricately crafted material. Although a hypnotic vibe holds the reins, the music maintains a lively and colorful exterior.

Commercial aspirations interact nicely with an experimental bent, resulting in the kind of record that would satisfy both top 40 listeners and followers of underground rock. A masterpiece of its genre sadly heard by few due to an extremely limited pressing, The Way We Feel is much deserving of a reissue. So kudos to the Wooden Hill label for recognizing the band’s worth back in 1999, and allowing their music to be enjoyed by a wider net of folks.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.