• Bloodsport
  • I Am the Game (Homestead) 1985 

Part of the mid-’80s Chicago scene (alongside Big Black, Effigies et al.), Bloodsport features guitarist Chris Björkland, a veteran of Strike Under, the early Chi-town punk band (its 1981 EP was the first-ever Wax Trax! record) that also included his brother Steve (later of Breaking Circus) and Naked Raygun bassist Pierre Kezdy.

Björkland, singer Dave Bergeron, bassist Tom Woods and drummer Joe Haggerty (brother of Raygun’s John) cut Bloodsport’s only record, the seven-song I Am the Game, in 1985. Inspired by the same Ruts/Killing Joke/Stranglers sources as Bloodsport’s counterparts, the slabs of innovative, guitar-dominated walls of post-punk power-rock (“Better and Best,” “Sixes and Sevens,” the instrumental “Killing Floor” and the chilling “Rhymes of Reason”) are just what one would expect: solid and invigorating.

The group has been a study in inertia ever since. Bloodsport continued as an unrecorded trio after Bergeron left; all three members currently back singer John Kezdy in the Effigies. Although Bloodsport still exists, Björkland moonlights in the re-formed Defoliants and Haggerty is in Pegboy, a new band with his ex-Raygun brother John.

[Jack Rabid]

See also: Effigies, Naked Raygun