2014 proved to be a fantastically busy year for American country band Jess and the Bandits, picking up a swelling of UK fame amongst other notable notches in the belt, but with their debut album, Here We Go Again, due out on March 3oth, 2015 looks set to be even bigger. The Bandits (brothers Louis and Ricci Ricciardi, Dave Troke and Steven Reid Williams) met frontwoman Jessica Clemmons on tour with The Overtones, and instantly bonded over a love of country music. After playing together, there formed an undeniable bond between the renowned Texan frontwoman and The Bandits, all with firm groundings in country music, and thus formed the musical chemistry that is Jess and the Bandits.
Last year we had the chance to be absolutely wowed by the band’s live show when they headed out on tour with Pete Molinari (you can check out our review here), and it would seem that it’s not just the life they brought to the stage that made them stand out so effectively. Jess’s voice has previously received some commendable comparisons, and any track off the record would be the 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 album opener Ready Set, the album is absolutely pulsing with fun and life, infectious choruses making every song a sing along. It’s easy to see how any work off the record could be taken as a single, with even slower tracks, such as second Love Like That, making the most of Jess’s captivating vocals – closing Wichita Lineman, a female rendition of the track created for Terry Wogan’s show, is another stand out when it comes to the vocal work.
Jess’s 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 upfront honesty, and it’s hard not to make the obvious comparison to the likes of Luke Bryan with the emotion packed into the sound. Personal favourite off the album comes as fifth Nitty Gritty, a self-motivational, infectious tune that’s easily comparable to Megham Trainor’s All About That Bass – except that this track makes that number one single pale in comparison. Motivational and uplifting, the track’s a perfect pick me up for those truly dreary days.
“It’s hard to fault this album” is a pointless phrase; it’s impossible to fault this album. Uplifting and passionate, Jess’s vocals work perfectly with the support of The Bandits, to form a debut offering that exceeds all expectations. The band have truly gone above and beyond to create a record that’s bound to bring them success on both sides of the pond, and only gets better with each listen. 10/10.