The Best Around – Didn’t Come Here to Count ‘Em

Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we listen to all sorts. One day it might be European heavy metal, the next it could be California Surf Rock. We don’t care. Good music is good music. So when a track comes across our desk by a band that describe themselves as ‘cosmic honky-tonk big band’ we just jumped at the chance to see what on earth Austin Texas based The Best Around had on offer for us.

The band’s latest single, Didn’t Come Here to Count ‘Em, is just fun. There’s no other real way to describe this song. It’s fun. Lyrically very witty – the line “I didn’t come here to count ‘em, I came here to drink ‘em” made us all laugh out loud, and as the song progresses there’s some real lyrical gems scattered throughout the track.

The song starts with a slightly tipsy sounding count in, and ends with “well that was pretty good” followed by some even more inebriated words we couldn’t make out and the sound of a beer can opening.

There is no doubt in our minds that The Best Around are not a band who take themselves too seriously. In their own words;

“The Best Around formed at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. To conform to social
distancing measures, they didn’t meet to practice and write, but instead recorded each of their parts in their own respective home studios, tool sheds, and closets. Very little instructions were given as tracks were passed back and forth, leading to a sense of freedom in collaboration that can be heard across the recordings.”

The fact that they didn’t meet to write or practice and had little instructions leads to a mixed up jumble of stuff all happening at the same time. If this was a serious track, that would be a criticism, but it most certainly isn’t. This is clearly a bunch of guys who are living their best lives and making music for the hell of it.

Didn’t Come Here to Count ‘Em is a light hearted romp that is sure to please fans of outlaw country and similar. Lyrically perhaps a nod to the likes of Kevin Fowler or Brad Paisley, the musicianship amongst the band members is not to be sniffed at. The addition of a great horn section (trumpet and trombone) makes Didn’t Come Here to Count ‘Em a touch on the jazzy side, especially in the ever-building solo section towards the end. There’s so much happening, and it feels as though every member of the band is taking a solo at the same time. For some reason, that works, and we can’t quite figure out why.

Normally, we give production advice when we’re reviewing, but The Best Around has such a live and unpolished feel to it that any suggestions would perhaps be pointless. It’s the raw laissez-faire attitude to the whole track that gives it its charm.

Undeniably a band to go see live once they’re on the road and out of their home studios, tool sheds and closets, The Best Around are a spontaneous burst of raw energy and fun that will brighten up anyone’s Saturday night on the town.