Various Artists – Estrus Double Dynomite Sampler, Vol. 3

Various Artists
Estrus Double Dynomite Sampler, Vol. 3

Estrus Records, one of the pre-eminent labels in the Pacific Northwest, has been going strong for many years, serving up bold, gritty, and diverse rock and roll. No matter what sub-genre or category that you have a taste for – from surf to psychobilly – Estrus dishes it up with a growl. For the third volume of their Double Dynomite Sampler series, Estrus mimics one of the hallowed music traditions that they have helped to keep alive; the 7″ single. The comp is like getting 11 in one and never having to flip a slab of vinyl, a great introduction to the label and an excellent motivation to pick up some of the quality records they put out.
The album starts with two tracks from North Carolina band The Cherry Valence that provide great, somewhat raucous garage rock reminiscent of The Stooges or MC5. Fatal Flying Guillotines follow with their own pair of screamy, clangy, and highly danceable rock ‘n’ roll songs. Continuing the streak of arrhythmic, stop-and-go garage rock is the creepy folk-core group, Federation X. Their tracks bring a unique level of originality and quality production to the compilation. The Fireballs of Freedom supply pure power on the catchy rock tracks “We Dolt Everyday” and “The Halls of Sonic Splendor.” Gas Huffer changes the pace significantly with two straight-up punk songs that pack plenty of punch in their short timeframes. Gasoline follows up with rootsy sounding rock and roll that is full of guttural doleful vocals.
Liberal doses of feedback and deeply varying tempo changes characterize the stripped-down rock sound of Immortal Lee County Killers. Coming right on their tale is the simple surf-rock sounds of Man or Astroman? who contribute a smooth pair of laid-back songs that breaks the monotony of frenetic rock and roll. Monkeywrench continues to carry the slow-down torch on their songs “Black Plastic Tarp” and “Low on Air,” which each have a gut-wrenching bluesy element. The Soledad Brothers begin the ascent into rock and roll power with their unique brand of gritty garage rock. Finally, rounding out the comp in a wave of snarled vocals and eclectic arrhythmic bells and whistles are the two tracks by Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee.
While quite a few of the bands sound the same, this comp provides a pretty effective showcase of the talent on Estrus. For fans of true blue rock and roll, it doesn’t get much better, and it adequately informs listeners of each band’s sound. Including two songs from each group also helps to give a better idea of each artist and showcases the diverse talent that has been collected by Estrus. All in all, The Double Dynomite Sampler provides a raucous and full-spirited summertime listen. It’s only rock and roll, but I like it.