It's a rare artist who insists on playing every instrument on their debut record, mixing together a series of intense guitar, bass, drum, piano and vocal performances to approximate the sound of one live, righteous rock band. At only 21 years old, Thomas Abban has already established himself as a singular artist in the Minnesota music community; he has an ambitious, larger than life artistic vision, a meticulous approach to executing his songs, and the restless creative impulses of someone unconcerned with where they fit in the larger musical universe.
His music travels through time, stretching back to the prog and experimental rock of the 1970s. At times, A Sheik’s Legacy sounds like it could have been conceived by druids in ancient medieval times ("Aladdin," "Symmetry and Black Tar"), or a wild-eyed poet in Greenwich Village during the folk renaissance ("Irene," "Echo"). In the album's most unabashed moments Abban seems to get lost in his own compositions, faking a cough mid-song or breaking into a unholy wail, swept up in the maelstrom of his guitar. One of the most convincing lyrics on the entire album is a well-placed and drawn-out "Uh" in the song of the same name.