by Andrew Sacher

photo: Night Birds at Warsaw in April (more by Keith Marlowe)
Night Birds

As someone who grew up listening to a lot of '90s punk, the Fat Wreck Chords Fat Music compilations were a godsend. (Along with Punk-O-Rama and Hopelessly Devoted to You.) They usually didn't cost much, and they could squeeze 15-20 bands onto one disc (or sometimes over 100). A lot of my early music memories are of those comps as much as they're of individual bands' albums (Fat Music for Fat People and Survival of the Fattest were particular favorites), but for whatever reason I don't seek out label comps anymore. Maybe because they're released less often, because I don't spend much time CD shopping anymore, or because it's now easier to hear what a label has to offer from their website. Probably a combination of all three.

Fat hasn't actually released a new one since 2010 but that will change on August 7 when they put out their first Fat Music comp in five years, Fat Music Vol. 8: Going Nowhere Fat. It's got a good mix of the same bands you saw on these things in the '90s -- NOFX, Swingin' Utters, Good Riddance, Lagwagon, Strung Out and more -- plus cool newer bands like Night Birds and toyGuitar.

The Night Birds song, "Left In The Middle," just came out today and it does what Night Birds do best -- mixes '80s surf punk with '90s skate punk, yet sounds totally fresh. It's got a particularly ripping guitar solo too. Listen, and check out the Fat Music Vol. 8 tracklist, below.

Night Birds next play NYC on July 26 at Riis Park Beach Bazaar at Rockaway Beach. That's a free afternoon show with Simon & The Bar Sinisters, Death Vacation, Nonsense and Moral Panic.

The label is also celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a tour that has NOFX, Lagwagon, Strung Out, Swingin' Utters and more. Good Riddance are also touring this year.

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Night Birds - "Left In the Middle" (via AV Club)

Fat Music Vol. 8 Tracklist:
1: Banner Pilot - Modern Shakes
2: Masked Intruder - The Most Beautiful Girl
3: Lagwagon - The Cog in the Machine
4: Pears - Snowflake *
5: Mad Caddies - Shoot Out the Lights
6: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Straight Up
7: toyGuitar - When It Was Over
8: Get Dead - Welcome To Hell
9: CJ Ramone - One More Chance
10: Good Riddance - Running on Fumes
11: Night Birds - Left in the Middle *
12: Less Than Jake - Good Enough
13: Strung Out - Rats in the Walls
14: The Flatliners - Bury Me
15: Darius Koski - Fond Of, Lost To
16: Leftover Crack - The Lie of Luck *
17: Bad Cop/Bad Cop - Nightmare
18: Old Man Markley - Stupid Today
19: Morning Glory - Life's a Long Revenge
20: NOFX - SF Clits (Demo Version) *
21: Snuff - In the Stocks
22: Swingin' Utters - Taking on the Stale Green Light *
23: Western Addiction - Ex-Humans *
24: The Real McKenzies - Up on a Motorbike
25: Home Street Home - Monsters

* - previously unreleased