Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon took three wickets each as Australia bowled out England for 258 and reached 30 for one in reply to take control of the second Ashes test at Lord's on Thursday.
After rain washed out the first day, Australia won the toss and put England in to bat, Hazlewood taking two early wickets to give the touring side the initiative which they never surrendered.
Rory Burns and Jonny Bairstow made half-centuries but it was a disappointing batting performance by England, and Australia will be confident of claiming a first-innings lead and pushing on for a win that would put them 2-0 up in the series.
Jason Roy lasted three balls, flashing wildly at his first before edging a lifting Hazlewood delivery to wicketkeeper Tim Paine for nought.
Captain Joe Root twice drove Cummins sweetly to the extra cover boundary before, on 14, he was trapped lbw by Hazlewood with a delivery that jagged back and kept low.
Burns, who made a patient century in the first test at Edgbaston, dug in to play the anchor role again but he was given a life when he drove loosely at a wide ball from Peter Siddle and Usman Khawaja spilled a sharp catch at gully.
Hazlewood, recalled to the side, bowled two probing and accurate spells in the morning, conceding only 14 runs in 10 overs to lift Australia's quest to win the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001.
Burns slog-swept spinner Lyon for four to bring up England's fifty and the left-hander was 34 not out with Joe Denly unbeaten on 27 as the hosts reached 76 for two at lunch.
As has happened regularly in Denly's fledgling test career, however, he failed to capitalise on a solid start.