Modern Latin Rock may be forever canonized in terms of Rob Thomas & Carlos Santana, but for better or for worse it holds an indelible position in the sphere of 20th Century Pop. How a band such as Autumn Kings can benefit from this recognition is immense – the sound needn’t be radically changed so long as a similar spirit is embodied. With the release of the single and accompanying video for “Illusion” the Autumn Kings do just as is prescribed – crafting an experience that is a wholly textbook Latin Rock adventure.
Hailing from an otherwise decidedly un-Latin locale of Ontario, one can hear the musical mores of fellow Northerners Sum 41 and Broken Social Scene working their way into the single’s overall scheme. Though Autumn Kings may not have resigned to one such genre, it’s impossible to remove that influence. The accompanying video for “Illusion” demonstrates an excellent use of some magical realism, suspending the group in time alongside a party that exists only to be held under the band’s spell.
Vocalist Jake Diab plays upon the ever-popular trope of heartthrob behind the mic, evidently refusing to shed a Warped Tour upbringing. Blending the sensibilities of Abraxas with a traditional pop aesthetic, Autumn Kings can’t quite shake the “four lads working through a pop-punk phase.” But they needn’t do so – “Illusion’s” video perfectly sums up the group’s intended audience. It’s a smart synthesis of genre and projected fan base that Autumn Kings have cultivated in their single.
Festival-ready, or at the very least, Amphitheatre-ready, Autumn Kings demonstrates prowess in pleasing a wide swath of crowds.