We were trapped and stuck in time
I don’t really expect much from fully acoustic original b-sides. They’re a bit too… ‘easy’ and effortless. You only need one or two band members present (depending on if the guitarists also sings) and you’re essentially releasing something that quite often serves as the first test demo before a proper recording, except this time it serves as the official recording. While Manics are in my opinion the best b-sides band around, even they sometimes get stuck on the exact same problem that most bands do with solo acoustic guitar songs that aren’t deemed good enough for any actual album: you’ll probably get something that’s pleasant but nothing that’s really anything memorable.
1404 falls into this trap as well. It’s pleasant alright and not that forgettable in the end, JDB’s too good of a songwriter to make anything utterly pointless. Still, 1404’s nothing much but a small campfire song reminiscing days of old, like a little folk tune but without the folkiness. It passes the time nicely but it’s not really something you’d recommend others to hear. It’s not a bad song. Just very generically pleasant.