This stripped-down post-hardcore anthem lyrically balances between Pro-American and Anti-War sentiments. Frontman Geoff Rickly explained to MTV News: "I think it's a really false split between the two, because I'm an anti-war person, but I have plenty of friends who are soldiers and I care about them. I think trying to make a decision like, 'Oh, you're a pacifist; that means you're anti-soldier and you don't support the troops,' is a terrible lie to put people in the middle of. So this song was about being a pacifist and caring about your friends that are in the armed forces."
Quicksand's Walter Schrieffels provides backing vocals on this track.
Rickly explained to MTV News the reasoning behind the Common Existence album title: "I just liked the idea that the record is about the shared existence of people in general. It's not so much 'me, me, me and my personal story.' I feel like so much punk rock right now is turned inward and it's like an outgrowing of emo becoming mainstream music. I really wanted to say it's just the same thing everybody goes through - that's 'common existence.' That's what life is. No one needs to get worked up about it."
Angus Young created the distinctive opening guitar part for "Thuderstruck" by playing with all the strings taped up, except the B. He learned the studio trick from his older brother George Young, who was the rhythm guitarist for The Easybeats.