Mammal’s Merry Memories: Third World War – Ascension Day (1971)

I was 21 years old when this album came out. We didn’t know or bother what sort of music it was. Everything that didn’t get radio airtime was “underground” music. Terms like metal, hard rock, prog, space rock, etc, hadn’t come into wide use yet. Some of those terms still had to be invented.

My friends and I called Third World War “joller music”. In South Africa, “joller” is slang for a ruffian, a hooligan, a rebel, someone who enjoys a wild good time. That’s what this band sounded like.

Years later, music historians labelled Third World War the world’s first punk band and called their music proto-punk. Therefore this song is the grandfather of punk metal and hardcore.



About ChristopherMammal

I've made it to Mammal. I still hope to be classified as Human one day. Meanwhile I have evolved enough to recognise different types of music as well as the shrieks of certain vervet monkeys who are known for their scurrilous behaviour in the proximity of unguarded bananas.

Posted on July 6, 2014, in News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I never heard of this band. Sounds raw, hard and energetic! Was it actually easy to get this kind of records back in 1971 in South Africa or did you have to scout for them? I’m just reading John Robb’s “Punk Rock. An Oral History” about the emergence of Punk Rock in the UK and there they say that it was sometimes hard to get certain records and that some of them especially flew to the US to get them.
    The same thing as they say about the early Metal scene here in Germany. Hard to imagine in a time of permanent availability of nearly every kind of music/record.

  2. ChristopherMammal

    Back then I lived in Johannesburg, our largest city. There were a few very good record stores that included large sections for imports. Third World War became quite popular here.

    Nowadays the stores are smaller, as they have become everywhere. Most of what they sell is hit parade music. Thank goodness for online stores! Viva Amazon and Bandcamp! And especially, Viva the bands who sell directly from their websites.

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