MENTAL CRISIS was formed in 1983. The line up included Coby Ellison on guitar, Chris Hartman on bass, Brian Green on drums and Matt Bramlette on vocals. This was the "first" band for each of us... To my knowledge, we were the first "straight edge" hardcore punk band in kansas city. For Mental Crisis, the whole "straight edge" thing was more about rebelling against what people expected. People looked at punk rockers as this sort of drugged out loser crowd. It was a rebellion to the high school "freaker" mentality. "There was something satisfying in knowing that we could break stereotypes. We knew lots of people that used drugs at that time and we got along quite well with them. Actually, they laughed at the little rants of a 16 year old on stage saying that alcohol could ruin their lives!"
The band was also labeled "skate edge," since the members were submersed in the underground skate world... "Skateboarding was a huge part of our lives and a true underground world just like punk. The two scenes were very much intertwined."
Influential bands included SSD, Minor Threat, Septic Death, Venom, Cause for Alarm, 7 Seconds, Die Kreuzen and many others... Mental Crisis played our first show with The Replacements and Scream at the VFW hall... Other shows followed with the likes of: The Faction, The Offenders, Necros, Corrosion of Conformity etc. The band recorded a basement demo and released it in 1984. It was reviewed in Maximum Rock'n'Roll by none other than PUSHEAD!!! A short tour followed, in a borrowed van, with only two people old enough to drive (!!). The cities we played included Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Needless to say, as the band members neared and became adults, some of them removed the "X" and moved on to experience the mind altering worlds of psychoactive plants and chemicals. Better living through chemistry?
The band broke up in late 1985. Chris Hartman and Brian Green left the scene. Coby Ellison went on to achieve a masters degree in ceramics and is now composing electronic music in Arizona. Matt Bramlette ditched the voice and went on to play drums in Germbox, Quitters Club, Stop Champfer (an experimental improvisational group) and Many Series... all of which have released vinyl and/or CDs.