Distortion and compression have more in common than you might think.
In essence, distortion IS compression:
You are reducing the dynamic range of a sound.
To be more precise, a basic distortion unit/plugin acts very much like a limiter (a compressor with an infinite ratio).
It doesn’t let any peaks pass.
The difference with distortion to compression/limiting is that instead of making the loudest parts of the sound quieter, you are clipping them.
When used carefully, this can work wonders on drum sounds for example…
It can give you that extra “oomph” you needed.
In fact clipping is pretty much a standard technique in achieving heavy “Pendulum-type” snares for instance.
For it to work though, the sound you are working on must possess enough initial dynamics to begin with.
Otherwise it will just sound flat when you start clipping it.
(Of course, you could counter this by layering it with something else, or do parallel distortion.)
The type of distortion you use also makes a world of difference. There are loads of plugins to choose from so try out everything you can to discover what’s right for you.