The home side's pace attack exploited the cracks in the WACA pitch to mess with England's heads and bowl the tourists out for 251 before lunch on Sunday.
England had resumed on 4-180 in reply to Australia's 385.
Ryan Harris (3-48) and Peter Siddle (3-36) took three wickets each and complemented the brutal pace assault from left-armer Mitchell Johnson (2-62).
Harris broke through in the third over of the day when Ian Bell (15) was out lbw on review.
Home-town hero Johnson had the crowd on edge after hitting a crack and causing wicketkeeper Brad Haddin to dive in front of first slip as Matt Prior took a bye in the 74th over.
Two balls later, Ben Stokes (18) pushed forward tentatively and was caught behind off Johnson at 6-198.
Matt Prior (eight) was caught behind off Siddle and Johnson trapped Stuart Broad lbw for five in the second over with the second new ball.
Tim Bresnan (21) hit four boundaries before he was caught behind off Harris and Siddle removed Jimmy Anderson caught at short leg, with Graeme Swann unbeaten on 19.
Alastair Cook's side had shown some fight on Saturday before Australia struck two key blows in the evening session.
Cook fell for 72 after the tea interval and Kevin Pietersen departed for 19. The star right-hander Pietersen took a mighty swipe at Siddle's bowling and Johnson took a spectacular, high-leaping catch at mid-on.
Pietersen continues to suffer against Siddle, who has claimed the 102-Test veteran's wicket 10 times.
England trail two-nil in the five-match series and defeat in Perth would mean Australia regain the Ashes.
AUSTRALIA FIRST INNINGS 385
ENGLAND FIRST INNINGS
A COOK c Warner b Lyon 72 (153)
M CARBERRY b Harris 43 (76)
J ROOT c Haddin b Watson 4 (16)
K PIETERSEN c Johnson b Siddle 19 (59)
I BELL lbw Harris 15 (71)
B STOKES c Haddin b Johnson 18 (57)
M PRIOR c Haddin b Siddle 8 (24)
T BRESNAN c Haddin b Harris 21 (29)
S BROAD lbw Johnson 5 (13)
G SWANN not out 19 (23)
J ANDERSON c Bailey b Siddle 2 (9)
Sundries (11b 7lb 5w 2nb) 25
Fall: 85 (Carberry), 90 (Root), 136 (Cook), 146 (Pietersen), 190 (Bell), 198 (Stokes), 207 (Prior), 229 (Broad), 233 (Bresnan), 251 (Anderson).
Bowling: R Harris 22-10-48-3 (1nb), M Johnson 22-7-62-2 (1nb), S Watson 12-3-48-1, P Siddle 16-5-36-3 (1w/5), N Lyon 16-6-39-1.
Batting time: 404 mins. Overs: 88.
Umpires: Billy Bowden (NZL), Marais Erasmus (RSA).