The Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra, an esoteric six-piece chamber ensemble, aren't likely to be booked at the Four Seasons Tea Room.
The PRO are a challenging brew of classical, art rock, opera and punk, which looks nightmarish on paper but occasionally works. Benjamin Mueller-Heaslip's arrangements are unique and uncompromised, taking on music snob favourites like Wire and Brian Eno as well as Kurt Weill. His band, violinist Alex Cheung, saxophonist Jennifer Wardle and rhythm section Michael Kaler and Mike Rosenthal, competently keep up with each song's shifting shape and form.
Kristin Mueller-Heaslip's operatic vocals are muscular, and her control is undeniable, yet her soaring, theatrical peaks and valleys feel incongruous with the music's often understated approach.
Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra launch their new CD at the Tranzac Friday (November 23).