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JFH Staff Review

Not By Chance
Playing for Vick EP

Album length: 3 tracks: 10 minutes, 38 seconds
Street Date: September, 2005

Out of Enterprise, Alabama comes young up-starting band Not By Chance. They've been together for little over a year, but have quite a following, as referenced in the title of their newly released EP, Playing for Vick. Guitarist and lead vocalist Cliff Simms explains, "When we first started out playing small venues and churches, we could always count on one guy to always be there. His names is Vick. Now we've built a solid fan base and are traveling state to state, and we still know we can look out at most of our concerts and find Vick somewhere in the crowd. It's really a big thank you to everyone who has believed in our music from the start up until now." That's quite a statement for such a young band to be making, but their short-but-sweet three track EP is a bit of a testimony to the truth of that notion.

At first listen, Not By Chance seems a little "been-there-done-that," but before long, you begin to realize the pseudo-retro beauty of what you are hearing. It sounds a lot like John Davis, with its echoing vocals and foot-tapping, pop sensibility. A bit of Weezer can be heard too, however, there's more of a Coldplay relation that gives it a darker rock influence. Still, some may not be able to get past the sense that they've heard it before, but those willing to keep it spinning long enough to enjoy it, definitely will.

With the EP opener, "Coming Home," you are immediately struck with a spiritual, lyrical honesty you seldom heard. The song talks directly to God as a man struggles wanting to run and hide from Him, and ultimately realizes that He will be there for him no matter what. Things slow down a bit with "New Day," a song that deals with out inability to change our sinful habits day in and day out, and God's unending amount of grace He bestows upon us. The EP comes to a close with the most rock influenced of the tracks, "Fade Away." With less of a spiritual relation, it speaks about superficial relationships that we say will last, but eventually "fade away."

Not By Chance is a throwback. It's really hard to say exactly what they're a throwback too, but they are, indeed, a throwback. They're also a young band with a remarkably bright future ahead of them. Their small but devout audience should no doubt grow as this EP circulates. It's not for everyone, but neither is it worth the risk of passing up what could become a favorite.

- Review date: 11/19/05, written by Josh Taylor


. Album length: 3 tracks, 10 minutes and 38 seconds
. Street Date: September, 2005

  1. Coming Home
  2. New Day
  3. Fade Away



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