My experience with the university town of Manchester, England is about as reductive as you can go without sounding like a complete outsider, or buffoon (take your pick). Links are few but pictures of students punting about the River Cam, Slyvia Plath's motionless head in an oven, Nick Drake's plaintive folk music, Pink Floyd, and Robyn Hitchcock don't provide a particularly happy or fair picture of the place. Beyond that, in the contemporary realm there's Muse and you know they love to sing about apocalypse don't they? Just to make sure, I'm not slighting any of these people or Cambridge itself (well, maybe Muse just a little). I'm just setting up the dark and beautiful mood for Fuzzy Lights' debut album. You know, they call it the introduction and this one is getting way too long.So what's an American to do when he picks up a copy of said album, A Distant Voice? Like any instrumental music that uses guitars Fuzzy Lights is sure to get slapped with the post-rock tag before I end up going on a aesthetical tirade about how the music resembles the beauty of the dark and tranquil River Cam. After some research I find out The Cam's water isn't murky at all and is pretty darn clean, from its source to its confluence at the Great Ouse to support fish! Well, that argument deserves a watery grave (haha) anyway. Like the laguid river, A Distant Voice revolves around its central elements. This music is more ambient than post-rock in that sense.Opener, 'Blackout II' is revolves in a smooth reciprocating motion that calms the pulse despite its ominous atmospheres and growling guitar denouements. Godspeed You! Black Emperor's 'The Dead Flag Blues' is brought to mind when a creaky violin floats out of "Blackout II"'s thunder cloud of and pealing reverb and drifting organ drones. Elsewhere,'Eastern Winds' blasts clarion call My Bloody Valentine while glam rock solos muffled under the reverb. Critics are notorious for just describing without contextualizing but you can't help with such vivid tone poems. 'Capturing Shadows' is a kinetic thunderstorm while a killer is on the loose. 'Bells Chiming in an Empty House' replaces the bells with a testy web of guitars and drum fills - the storm's stuck inside a dusty attic now. 'Colour of the Sun' takes the show on the road through the high desert's sun.In dealing with such recondite music you are bound to visuals. Voice only receives a true vocals on 'Colour of the Sun' and 'Safe Place' but the instruments do a lot of talking themselves. The comically titled 'Something to Do With Light' and triumphant capstone, '(When We Reached the) Mountain Top,' sound like the group didn't want to pigeonhole themselves too much and decided to do some upbeat indie rock tracks. Their yearnful screes work as well but not quite like the dark swells of soft and quiet before them.I guess I take refuge in my outsider (and heavily skewed) perspective of Cambridge. A place where Sylvia Plath wrote some of her brilliantly devastating confessionals, Pink Floyd hailed from, and where Nick Drake went to school. It's a tight box and some of the other band's on Manchester's Little Red Rabbit Records could be crammed into perhaps, but Fuzzy Lights deserve something a little better. A Distant Voice is dense music that pulls at tiny crevices in your soul, slowly unfolding before you. And if that's murky as hell, well I'm not from around here. Someday I hope to listen to this while on The Cam. At night. 'Reflective Surfaces' will sound that much better. What do I know though? I'm an American who's a sucker for post-rock (or whatever it is).80%Fuzzy Lights on MySpace