“This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” is a song by American rock band Fall Out Boy and the second single from their commercially successful third studio album Infinity on High (2007). The song officially debuted on November 21 at the American Music Awards and impacted US radio on December 5. The music was composed by vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump and the lyrics were penned by bassist Pete Wentz, following the band’s songwriting approach which first began with some songs on their 2003 album Take This to Your Grave. Production was handled by Neal Avron, who also produced the band’s previous From Under the Cork Tree album. Commenting on the band’s decision to pick the track as the first single, Wentz said “There may be other songs on the record that would be bigger radio hits, but this one had the right message.”
The track was a commercial success and the band’s major international breakthrough. “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 with 162,000 first week sales and broke various records. It is the group’s first single to chart worldwide in countries including Australia, New Zealand and most of the European nations, where it reached the top five in many. After its Platinum RIAA and ARIA certifications in 2007, in 2013 it was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for 200,000 sales. In Australia, it spent nine consecutive weeks at either No. 4 or No. 5.
The song was released as a downloadable track for the video game Rock Band on May 6, 2008, and is also on Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2. The January 2009 issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine lists Fall Out Boy’s “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” as second on its list of Rock Band’s Five Most Unexpectedly Rockin’ Downloadable Songs. The song is also available as downloadable content for Guitar Hero 5.