By Ian Urrutia

“Drunk and Bored” comes from a place of frustration: a banter distilled in silence and sensual longing, a showcase of resigned sadness in the unconscious meeting of minds. Like the songs in Pamphleteer’s debut album, Collected Fiction, it’s a conversation that doesn’t quite lead to a discussion. The two persons involved, take turns with their internal monologue. Rather than depict a tryst that shows both of them holding a drink and locked in awkward glances, they’re completely facing each other in the opposite direction, separated by a wall.

This anthem of emotional defeat, which tackles the shattered remains of infidelity, could have been rewritten and structured as a cautionary tale just like any other piece of literary and musical work. But to our surprise and delight, Aldus Santos and Dee Cruz navigate this character study on “deeply flawed, terribly compromised” individuals with a somber perspective on how memory is a reliable source of storytelling rather than a gospel that preaches moral ascendency. As both grapple with the end of a “fictitious” secret relationship, they allow themselves to mourn even just for a good hour or two: Their presence blocked from each other’s cornered spaces, but their souls, yearning to meet—unrestricted and free from judgment. 

This helplessness is heard in their voices, as their respective take conjures an internal push and pull dynamics that build into a beautiful meltdown. You can hear the rawness and immediacy of the exchange, resonating beyond words, revealing tension and ease to a clashing degree. Sure, it’s a great spectacle to witness, sort of watching a one-act play with a very receptive audience. And then it ends there abruptly, devoid of a happy ending and optimism, but its stinging effect stays like the stench of memories that you’ve been meaning to get rid of; leaving you scarred for a long time.

Stream Drunk and Bored