The Infliktors were members of the first brigade of Boston punk rockers that fired a shot heard ‘round the world along with their brethren in New York and London in 1977. The band reached this hallowed circle by right of the appearance of their songs “Da Da Dali” and “Norkis of the North” on the Live at the Rat double album recorded in September 1976 at the legendary punk club, the Rathskellar. However, this quartet, fronted by the demonstrative Lee Ritter on vocals and guitar, traveled in different circles from the “scorched earth” nihilism that categorized the Sex Pistols and their descendents. The Infliktors featured very little anarchy in its music, but drew freely from the blues rock traditions that had preceded it. In this manner, the members were pretty much a hard rock band demonstrating a bluesy swagger found in supposedly-hated groups like Queen and Led Zeppelin, members of a bloated scene that the new generation was going to overthrow. Whether or not that ever happened is another debate, but what is clear is that the Infliktors was a group much revered on the local scene even if its style was highly derivative. The Infliktors became the first act to release a single on the legendary Ace of Hearts label, which would soon “discover” and popularize the Neighborhoods and Mission of Burma. That single, “Where’d You Get That Cigarette,” and its B-side, “Everyone Wants To Survive,” as well as a lost Ace of Hearts track, can still be found online, but little else remains of this seminal Boston band. Sadly, Ritter would pass on in early 2006 from emphysema.
(by Carter Alan)