“Day after day, I will follow,” comes the spooky intro voice. Then the magisterial Violent Femmes start pounding and so does your blood. “Add It Up” (below) is the name of the track — and it’s driving power made the chase scene in the season 3 premier of The 100 as dramatic as anything on TV. The rhythm changes perfectly mirror the way a chase has bumps and mini-sections — the way it’s not fluid or consistent — and the brutal lyric and singer Gordon Gano’s knowing tone represent the atmosphere of the whole post-apocalyptic scene.
What marks all these great post-apocalyptic narratives — so popular right now — is what marked the rage of late punk-influenced alternative 80s rock before the synthesizer moment: ANGST. Upper case angst. “Add It Up” is a teenage anthem to frustration and desire, with its energy desperately trying to be both contained and let loose by the song. Nobody did it better than the Violent Femmes. The world teenagers navigate feels post-apocalyptic for good reason — their childhoods are over. That’s why this music feels perfect in a world where what was once solid and happy is gone, and where what’s left is pain and scramble, fear and rage. “Day after day, I get angry and I will say…”