Captain Coconut has built a strong following out of its New York City base at the Knitting Factory, but the band passed its funk final exam in showcase gigs at New Orleans clubs during Jazz Fest the past two years. Shoop! lives up to the promise of the live shows with a terse, snappy neo-funk sound that particularly showcases the instrumental prowess of the horn section (check out Danny Riviera’s monster break during the brass meltdown on “Jubilant Crackhead Strut”).
The two most impressive things about the album are the exceptionally good songwriting, especially guitarist Dan Knobler’s numbers, and the airtight, stop-and-go-on-a-dime arrangements. For a young band, these kids really play together as a unit. My only criticism of the album is that Greg Evans’ drumming doesn’t always make its way through the mix, reminding me that one of the biggest mistakes young bands make is not according the studio as much importance as the effects box.