David Werner’s name doesn’t roll off the tongue: he hasn’t released an album since 1979, and only the most avid rock snob will have heard them — because they’re not in print anymore. Whizz Kid is a typically earnest debut that seemingly draws on its artist’s record collection: Bowie and Beatles influences are present, and a little glam, too. (The original back cover shot of a heavily lipsticked Werner is priceless; he also calls his publishing company Sassy Brat Music!) Werner takes a more measured tack than his flashier brethren, though Mark Doyle’s and Max Kendrick’s guitars can pounce and snarl with the best of them. Songs alternate between mid-tempo rockers and plaintive ballads like “The Lady in Waiting” and “It’s Too Sad,” which offers encouragement to a lonely person (“but you’re no one’s clown/’cause they’re the ones that have to grow”). “One More Wild Guitar” opens the album decisively, casting its rocker-versus-fogeyish-parents lyric as a coming-of-age story — a theme he further develops on “The Death of Me Yet” and the title track (“everything I try to say somehow comes out crazy”). The musicianship isn’t flashy, but it’s first-rate throughout (especially Doyle and Kendrick, who carry most of the load). Werner addresses his inner life on the winsome “Love Is Tragic” and “A Sleepless Night,” in which a rebuffed lover plays for more time. As if to ensure he’s not playing things too straight, Werner trots out another Bowie-esque touch — “Plan 9,” a one-minute, free-associative spoken-word piece. The public may not have known how to read him, but David Werner was a distinctive artist, which may have worked against him. His style’s definitely an acquired taste, but you’ll never forget it once you hear it.