I think Chris Adler makes a huge difference actually. What I really thought makes it worlds better are the vocals and lyrics. Some of that rose, disclose, compose, love her, disaffect her, respect her shit made certain songs unlistenable to me. Vocally it came off like Mike Pattons emo little brother at times. I like Volition the 1st time I listened to it...
I'm sure some poeple would say the same thing about Clutch but Strange Cousins took me 10 listens just to like 1 song and 10 more just to like a total of 3 songs. I liked Earth Rocker the 1st time I listened to it and it got better with every listen.
Strange parallel since I never expected to like anything from either band ever again
11/19 - Slipknot
11/30 - Hed PE
12/10 - Chevelle
1/28 - Machine Head