Eleven bare skulls and one alien-masked skull peep out from the album cover of Subnoize Souljaz’s self-titled album, which can mean one of two things: buy it or run for cover. Picking the former, Subnoize Souljaz is on the cusp of making its mark. The group’s combination of rap riddled with rock and punk will capture the interest of those looking for something different – a band that chooses to define its own sound.

There’s no doubt that the 12-member posse is composed of hardcore rap fans. From the first sound of a gunshot on their 8-minute track "Frontline," to the eloquent observance of what’s wrong with the world in "Keep a Look Out," Subnoize Souljaz incorporates new cats like 50 Cent and The Game.

SubNoize Souljaz gets to the touchstone of rap, using vivid descriptions in depicting their lives, which are filled with tragedy, pain and hope. These lyricists forego the usual braggadocio about fast women, faster cars and expensive jewelers. Yet, the latter half of their CD seems to lose the spark of the first half, with the music being more of a migraine of jumbled words and mismatched beats. My suggestion is to listen to the first 11 tracks and use those left over for white noise.

Grade: B+

Subnoize Souljaz is currently available.