The Aqualads got together in 1997 under their original moniker of the Big Swinging Hammers while playing out their set of '60s surf rock instrumentals throughout their native of Charlotte, NC. With a live set that partially consists of covers and their backing go-go dancers the Aquanettes, the bands first official release was a 1998 Christmas 7" aptly titled Aqualads XMAS. After a slight lineup change that left guitarist Jimmy King as the only original Aqualads member, the rest of the quartet consisted of Greg Walsh (guitar), Colin LaRocque(drums), and Jeremy DeHart (bass). Soon after this settled lineup was complete, the band eventually released their debut album, entitled Hotbox, in 1999. Their second album, Revenge, quickly followed the next year.