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.
If you want to know when and where punk metal, hardcore, metalcore, deathcore and grindcore all have their roots, you have to go back to Britain and the birth of the new wave of punk that started in 1976 or thereabouts. Punk developed in its own channel during the 1980s while heavy metal went in a different direction. Punk and metal married at the alter of hardcore at decade later.
The late 1970s was, to me, the worst period in music since the first person hit a log with a stick and chanted something. It was the age of disco and the dawn of the New Romantic era. We had the Bee Gees singing in falsetto and we were about to be bombarded by bands like Wet Wet Wet. The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal wasn’t under way yet. Prog rock was beginning to strangle itself in the pursuit of hit parade listings.
In the 1980s I found myself drawn to Maiden and other metal. At the end of the 1970s, though, bands like The Clash made the airwaves bearable. This song has become iconic, an anthem of the punk movement, and it seems to sound better every time I play it.