Last year was a big year for Jess and the Bandits, but with their debut album, Here We Go Again, now with us 2015 looks set to be even bigger. The Bandits (brothers Louis and Ricci Ricciardi, Dave Troke and Steven Reid Williams) met singer Jessica Clemmons on tour with The Overtones, and instantly bonded over a mutual love of country music. Identified as a future star by Paula Abdul & Simon Cowell on American Idol back in 2005, Jess’s voice has received some commendable comparisons, and any song from the album is a perfect example as to why this is.
Jess has a voice that’s a real stand out on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. From the opener Ready Set, this set is absolutely full of fun and life, with infectious choruses turning every song into a sing-a-long. It’s easy to see how any song could be chosen as a single, with even slower songs, such as Love Like That, making the most of Jess’ amazing vocals. Jess’ writing has a distinct heart-on-sleeve touch to it, with tracks such as You Can’t Stop Me, If You Can’t Be Mine and What If dripping with honesty, and it’s easy to spot Jess’ love of the story element of the genre. There are many stand out songs including, my personal favourite, My Name Is Trouble and the infectious Nitty Gritty, a motivational and uplifting song that makes the perfect pick me up for a bad day.
It is impossible to find fault with this album, Jess’ vocals work perfectly with the support of The Bandits, and have created a debut that exceeds all expectations. The band have absolutely nailed the recording and writing processes and have created an album that will bring them much deserved success on both sides of the Atlantic, and only gets better every time you listen. Rod Archer, Kool Country, March 2015