RONI LEPPA BAND – The First Step (2017)
“The First Step” is the properly titled debut album from Finland’s RONI LEPPA BAND, a new outfit with the backing support of Hanoi Rocks’ frontman Michael Monroe.
Roni Leppa emerged from The Voice Of Finland, chosen by Monroe as one of his contestants.
The Voice of Finland is a Finnish reality singing competition, in fact, local version of world-wide known TV show The Voice. The series premiered in 2011, with Michael Monroe as one of the famous coach.
One of the important premises of the show is the quality of the singing talent. Four coaches, themselves popular performing artists, train the talents in their group and occasionally perform with them.
Talents are selected in blind auditions, where the coaches cannot see, but only hear the auditioner.
Monroe & Leppa meet during the 3rd season in 2014, where the latter was one of the four contestant chosen by Monroe. Leppa was finalist, and while Monroe’s team won that year, Leppa didn’t ended first.
That does not discouraged the singer, and he formed the Roni Leppa Band.
Now 2017, “The First Step” is the band’s first fruit of work, not only helped by Michael Monroe about studio recording but also involved in contributing vocals,sax and harmonica.
“The First Step” could be classified as a classic rock, blues based rock album with fun uptempo tunes, and some ballads. Roni owns a classy tenor voice with British feel, very comfortable to the ears.
There’s a cool shuffle in ‘Sailor Joe’, a nice groove on the hard rocking ‘Darkside’ (brings to mind Ugly Kid Joe) and a radio friendly melodic rocker in ‘Came Through Hell’
You have slower numbers in the ballad ‘Northern Lights’ (soulful vocal performance), acoustics in ‘Drifted Apart’, while Michael Monroe himself appears as guest on the fun ‘Cold Hearted Man’.
A very interesting new artist, Leppa certainly can sing and he’s a solid songwriter as well.
I can see him fronting a traditional hard rock act or a classic rock one, let’s see what this young musician choose as next step. But I’m sure it will be related to ‘true rock’.
Meanwhile, this is a firm “First Step”. Check it out.
01 – Sailor Joe
02 – Came Through Hell
03 – Northern Lights
04 – One Thing
05 – Shine
06 – Darkside
07 – Drifted Apart
08 – Cold Hearted Man (Feat. Michael Monroe)
09 – Gone With The Wind
Roni Leppä – Vocals, Rhythm guitar
Jake Manning – Lead guitar
Tommi Kolsi – Drums
Michael Monroe – guest vocals, sax and harmonica
BUY IT !